The word cowboy conjures up vivid images of rugged men on saddled horses—men lassoing cattle, riding bulls, or brandishing guns in a shoot-out. White men, as Hollywood remembers them. What is woefully missing from these scenes is their counterparts: the black cowboys who made up one-fourth of the wranglers and rodeo riders. This book tells their story.
When the Civil War ended, black men left the Old South in large numbers to seek a living in the Old West—industrious men resolved to carve out a life for themselves on the wild, roaming plains. Some had experience working cattle from their time as slaves; others simply sought a freedom they had never known before. The lucky travelled on horseback; the rest, by foot. Over dirt roads they went from Alabama and South Carolina to present-day Texas and California up north through Kansas to Montana. The Old West was a land of opportunity for these adventurous wranglers and future rodeo champions.
A long overdue testament to the courage and skill of black cowboys, Black Cowboys of the Old West finally gives these courageous men their rightful place in history.
Tricia Martineau Wagner has a B.A. in Elementary Education and attended the University of Toledo and Miami University, Ohio. She taught elementary school and was a reading specialist for twelve years. She is member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and the Evangelical Press Association.