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(drums rolling)
- God sent me here to be a cowboy.
And the first thing a lady told me, said,
'When you rode in the arena, you said, 'Everybody's eyes
were on you.'”
And she said, 'Half of 'em wanted you to win,
but the other half don't give a damn if you win or not,
because of the color of your skin.'
But, I'll always want to win.
(electric guitar strums)
I'd been a professional cowboy since 1959.
Dealing with racism back in the '50's and '60's and now,
it's still kind of hard.
People would see me at a rodeo,
and because I was of a different color,
they thought I was, uh, working for somebody.
People want to know, a lot of times:
Why did you want to be a calf roper?
Well, I had seen a lot of black cowboys judged improperly,
but in the calf roping,
I knew that I wasn't going to be judged by a human,
I was going to be judged by the clock.
The clock was going to determine whether I get any money,
or not.
Right now, all I do is put on Cowboys of Color rodeos.
Cowboys of Color features Indians, Blacks, Hispanics
and white cowboys also.
Black cowboys in the history books is damn near forgotten.
Very many people don't even realize
that New Mexico was discovered by a black man.
Chicago was founded by a black man.
I don't care what color you are,
these are the kind of things that we want young people
to know.
I have four boys, they are all professional cowboys.
My granddaughter, Rachel Hern, this was her first big rodeo.
So, it's a way of life for us.
I'm 76 years old.
That's pretty darn old for a cowboy.
It's in my blood.
I think, the day that I lay down and can't breathe anymore,
I'll still be looking for a rodeo.
(banjo playing)
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Roping as a Way of Life: The Proud History of Texas' Black Cowboys

64 Folder Collection
許大善 published on October 14, 2019
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