‘Black Cowboys: An American Story' Exhibit Opens This Weekend at the African American Museum of Dallas

People can view the new exhibit at the African American Museum in Dallas at Fair Park called, 'Black Cowboys: An American Story' for free starting on Saturday

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For the next several months, part of the second floor of the African American Museum of Dallas will be home to "Black Cowboys: An American Story," which highlights the history of Black cowboys in Texas and across the country.

The free exhibit displays pictures, artifacts, documents and films that provide insight into the untold stories of Black men, women and children, enslaved and free, who worked on ranches and took part in cattle drives.

Marvin Dulaney Ph.D., Deputy Director and Chief Operations Officer at the African American Museum of Dallas, said he wants visitors to walk away with new knowledge about the contributions made by Black cowboys during the time before the Civil War and through the turn of the 20th century.

"I want them to understand that African Americans participated in the Wild West experience. That they were cowboys, that they drove cattle they were ranches and did all the things that the mythology teaches us about being a cowboy," said Dulaney.

Dulaney, who taught African American history on the collegiate level for more fore than 40 years, explained that many don't know about this past.

“I’m hoping people get this broader, fuller picture of what the 'Old West' as they call it was like that, basically I'm thinking bigger picture, that African Americans were involved in all aspects of American history, we didn't just show up after 1865," said Dulaney.

One of the displays inside the exhibit includes a film about Hector Bazy, who was born a slave and became a cowboy when freed. His 1910 autobiography, which is portrayed by an actor, details the excitement and dangers of being a cowboy.

The exhibit details how people trained their horses, tend to cattle and helped build up the Texas economy. It also shows how Black cowboys created their own ranches after Emancipation.

In another room, there are Black cowboys who were in rodeos, music and film, but didn't make it on the big screens back then.

"You can see images, you can see a film, you can learn a lot about people like Herb Jeffries, who did this film in the 1940s called Harlem on the Prairie looking at the history of Black cowboys," explained Dulaney. “You know, we get John Wayne and Roy Rogers and Clint Eastwood and you know, they they're these heroes with the six shooters, killing people and riding the horses. Well, African Americans do those things too."

The Exhibit lasts through April 15 and is open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The African American Museum of Dallas is located at Fair Park at 3536 Grand Ave., Dallas.

ONLINE: To learn more click here.

The traveling exhibit was organized by the Witte Museum in San Antonio and Bank of America and Oncor are sponsors.

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