New exhibit at the Dallas African American Museum highlights Black cowboys of Texas
The exhibit tells the story of Black people who worked on the ranches of Texas through the turn of the 20th century.
The exhibit is called “Black Cowboys: An American Story,” and it includes more than 50 artifacts, archival photographs, documents and films. Some of those artifacts include a replica of a wagon a cowboy would have used, and a saddle that belonged to a Black cowboy in Texas during the 1800s.
Robert Edison is curator of education for the Dallas African American Museum. He said the exhibit is about a missing part of history.
"The exhibit talks about African-Americans from Texas who were ranchers, who were cowhands, who were farmers, women who worked on the range and children as well, and basically we're telling their story," he said.
He says telling these stories gives a more complete portrait of the American West.
"The myth of the West is that it's predominantly white, all of your cowboys and everything you see in the movies," he said. "But 25 percent of all cowboys were estimated to be African American."
He says the purpose of the exhibit is to let people know, especially young people, that America has a multicultural history, and all groups have made contributions, beyond what is taught in schools.
“Black Cowboys: An American Story" is organized by the Witte Museum in San Antonio.
The exhibit is free at the African American Museum in Fair Park through April 15th.