Fort Worth

Jim Austin’s Mission to Share the History of Cowboys of Color

During Black History Month, NBC 5 is taking a closer look at the men and women who broke barriers and shaped the future for North Texas

NBC5

The Fort Worth Stockyards are synonymous with cowboy history. Just outside of the Stockyards is a place that celebrates the life and times of the African American Cowboy.

It’s called the National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum, curated by Jim Austin.

While a good deal of the museum is dedicated to the black cowboy, there are exhibits celebrating all minority cowboys and cowgirls.

"We're talking about the history of African-American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian and white cowboys, and the way that they made a difference in the west," Austin said.

The Cowboys of Color Rodeo at Dickies Arena attracted first-time visitors like Precious Flowers of Lubbock.

The museum is about so much more than just a place to visit for Austin.

"Every day, I get up and I think about the importance of sharing this history,"

Austin, who is also the co-founder of the Cowboys of Color Rodeo, said having the chance to celebrate and share the history of the minority cowboys and cowgirls is truly his honor.

People he said he didn’t even know existed for so long.

"At the age of 40 years old, I found out that 40 percent of the cowboys were people of color," Austin said. "You can't know where you are going if you don't know where you have been."

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