Truth Behind the Myth: American Cowboys and The Invisible Men


Directory on for more information on the history of cowboys in American culture.

Black Americans: American West, Cowboys, & Towns Part 1

Black Cowboys Missing From The History Pages

Africans and The Making of the Americas: Part 3, Herding

Africans and The Making of the Americas: Part 3, Herding

Residents of the vast savanna region of West Africa; notably the Mandinka, Wolof, Fulani, Hausa, and Nupe began raising cattle at least as early as 4000 B.C. Those who came to the essential because Europeans had no experience with the conditions presented by the Americas, where there was abundant land and small labor force. Africans, on the other hand, were adept at managing large numbers of herders. (The Fulani in particular have long been legendary for their ability to identify every member of a large herd and to know immediately whether an animal is missing.) Not surprisingly, Africans were in great demand in all areas of the Americas where ranching was major activity, and they introduced the patterns of the open grazing now practiced throughout the Americas. Both the harvesting of cattle drive were adapted from African practices. In addition, Africans were the first to use artificial insemination in cattle breeding and to use cow’s milk for human consumption.

Africans had tended cattle as slaves in the South, and slave owners brought them to Texas from other Southern states. In 1845, Texas had an estimated 100,000 Whites and 35,000 slaves. By 1861, the state had 430,000 Whites and 182,000 slaves. After the Civil War, African Americans played a major though seldom acknowledged role in the American expansion in the West. They were cowhands, gunslingers, cowboys and much more; men like Nat Love, Bill Pickett, One Horse Charley, Bronco Sam, George Glenn and Bose Ikard. In addition to a number of Western terms have been traced back to African origins. Bronco which means “rough” or “crude” in contemporary Spanish, derives from an African-language, term and was first used to denote African cattle handle.


Black Americans: American West, Cowboys & Towns Part 2

Eatonville: The Oldest Black Town
in America

A hundred years ago, in communities across the U.S., white residents forced thousands of black families to flee their homes. Even a century later, these towns remain almost entirely white.

One correction; Eatonville ‘ISN’T’ the first Black town, there were many during and before slavery as well.

History’s Lost Black Towns

Rosewood: Rediscovering an almost
forgotten past

Seneca Village, N.Y.: Taking a
Stroll Through History

Five Points District, N.Y.: High
Stakes in Lower Manhattan

The Tragedy of Urban Renewal: The
destruction and survival of a New York City neighborhood

Weeksville, N.Y.: A Refuge for
Southerners and Northerners

Greenwood, Okla.: The Black Wall


Black Wall Street, Little Africa,
Tulsa, Oklahoma 1921

Freedman’s Village, Va.: The
Nation’s Safe Haven


Allensworth, Calif.: A California

Freedmen’s Town, Texas: Houston’s
‘Little Harlem’

A victim of gentrification – like so many traditionally Black neighborhoods throughout the Americas – in the 1990s, a large swath of North Dallas’ Freedman’s Town (which, by this time, people were calling “North Dallas” or “State-Thomas”) was taken for the building of the Central Expressway (U.S. Highway 75). But as construction of the Expressway began, workers dug up remains from what had been a cemetery established by African Americans.

The Freedman’s Cemetery is known to hold the remains of more than 7,000 African Americans and the construction of the Central Expressway unearthed numerous burial artifacts. Because of community activism, those artifacts were collected and today are part of the permanent collection of Dallas’ Historic Fair Park African American Museum

Those visiting Dallas, Texas can also visit what remains of the Freedman’s Memorial Cemetery at the intersection of Lemmon Avenue and North Central Expressway. It is a historic landmark that is a monument to Dallas’ early African American citizens. Graced by striking bronze statues created by the artist David S. Newton, the Freedman’s Cemetery is maintained by the Freedman’s Cemetery Memorial Foundation

Many towns I could make a whole post about; I would go even deeper, but this post is already going to be pretty long. My apologies.

Muchakinock, Iowa: The Strike

Buxton, Iowa: ‘A Black Man’s


New Philadelphia, Ill.: A Pioneer
Town in the Frontier…


Pin Oak Colony, Ill.: Byproduct
of the Northwest


Blackdom, N.M.: The Black Ghost

Our history

From the 1820’s to the 1951; most of these towns, cities, and districts were destroyed by the government, and bigotry. There are so many to showcase, but I’ll stop at this point.

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