With more than 50 artifacts, photographs, documents and films, the exhibition explores the lives and work of the numerous Black men, women and children – enslaved and free – who labored on the ranches of Texas and participated in cattle drives before the Civil War through the turn of the 20th century.
Free and open to the public, “Black Cowboys” will run through April 15, 2023, at the African American Museum, Dallas in historic Fair Park. The exhibition is organized by the Witte Museum.
By revealing stories that have largely been untold, “Black Cowboys” offers insight into the legendary cowboy, a clearer picture of the Black West, and a more diverse portrait of the American West. Visitors will discover how Black cowboys tamed and trained horses, tended livestock and rode on the trail with thousands of cattle across America. Over time, the role of Black cowboys evolved as they used the skills they learned on the ranch and trail to own their own ranches, serve as lawmen, ride in rodeos, become singers and perform in movies. Today, the lives and legacies of Black cowboys have inspired new generations to explore the past through music, film, fashion and design.
The African American Museum, Dallas is open from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. Free self-parking is available in nearby lots.