Opened in 1994, the Federation of Black Cowboys spread across 26 acres in Queens, New York was created to teach ethnic and inner city kids the likes of what the word ‘cowboy’ truly meant. According to history, one in four cowboys working in Texas during westward expansion was black. Many others were Native American, Mexican as well as Mestizo. A far cry from our typical hollywood depiction. Just after the Civil War, the African-American Buffalo Soldiers were sent by Congress to protect Western settlers and federal land.
The gentlemen from this acreage continue to teach this history to young kids along with the art of western horsemanship and proper care for a horse. Additionally, they continue stories of African American historical heroes such as Bill Pickett, Nat Love, Bass Reeves and Stagecoach Mary.
“Once upon a time, black cowboys helped build this country, but somewhere along the line, we lost our heritage. You got Muslim cowboys, yep, why not? A cowboy is a working man. You got cowboys who are businessmen, truckers, entertainers, even presidents. A cowboy is a working man, is all he is.” – Rufus Earle