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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)

(drums rolling)

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