While it’s generally accepted that American cowboy culture is the black culture. You might have seen the gun-slinging cowboys that star popularly in Hollywood movies. They are white, but the reality is that they should be black. That is not how the west was some centuries ago. While the ranchers who inhabited Texas fought in the 1800s war, they needed the slaves to ensure that their wealth is well protected, and in response to that, the slaves of that time had to learn the skills of tending to animals.
The Black Cowboys Sought To Improve Their Skills
Scattered and not properly African American history show that cowboys always tried to better themselves by gaining skills that would make them valuable to their employers. The skills that they developed made them very valuable to the Texas ranchers after the war, and they had to be hired and armed by rich ranch owners who needed them for their skills in taking care of cows and also fighting to protect their wealthy minders whenever there was a need. There were instances where ranchers’ cattle would run wild and it was almost impossible to contain them. But with the help of the cowboys, they could keep their animals within their territories.
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Breaking Wild Cows and Horses
When horses and bulls got wild, it was hard to bring them back to their senses and control. The only option was to break them, and no one could do this well than the cowboys who had returned from war. Some reports show that a black cowboy who had amazing skills in breaking horses was employed in Texas Duval Ranch earning $30 every month because he was able to break a wild horse who had been named Good Eye. This cowboy was reported to have moved massive cattle herds from one place to another and participated in shootouts with the natives who tried to protect their land during those trails.
There Were Around 10,000 Black Cowboys
African American cowboys are an important part of the African American culture. Nothing can be talked about today without referring to them, and their contribution to the communities in which they lived.
From available estimates, there were around 10,000 black cowboys from a total black population that existed in the southwest in about 1800, according to the revered Author John Ravage. The population of black people may have accounted for about 3 percent of the total population. Although these cowboys were being discriminated against in the towns, their services to their communities and employers were valuable.
While in the open range, they often worked with white cowboys and some of them advanced their skills and started working as rodeo performers. A few of them got hired b to work in the Indian territories while other cowboys owned their farms. Those who chose to follow the Wild West became outlaws and gunfighters. Many of them took place in the great cattle drives which originated in the southwestern parts of the United States in the 1800s.
There are many things that history doesn’t tell us about the African American cowboys. But if you dig deep, you will discover that there is a lot of information that can help you understand more about these cowboys and their contribution to today’s America’s black culture, religion, careers, and more