North Texas

Fort Worth Museum Highlights the Lives of Black Cowboys, Cowgirls

National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum is sharing the history of all cowboys, cowgirls who helped shape the west

The Fort Worth Stockyards are synonymous with cowboy history and now there is a new addition to that tradition. The new addition teaching, what for many, is the secret of the black cowboy.

That’s the secret Jim Austin, co-founder of the National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum, is excited to tell.

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

The little-known history is being housed at 2029 N. Main St. in Fort Worth -- the stories of 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.

Jim Austin has been working diligently to spread this information throughout North Texas. The museum’s recent move to the high traffic area near the Stockyards and Exchange District is in hopes of capitalizing on the more than two million visitors the area gets each year.

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. He isn’t shy to admit that even for him, this history was truly a secret.

"At the age of 40 years old, I found out that 40 percent of the cowboys were people of color," Austin said.

There are so many reasons he said he continues to do this work, especially bringing in school children to learn about history that may not be in their books. But he made it clear, there is one reason in particular that is always one of the most important.

"You can't know where you are going if you don't know where you came from ... and that's a true statement," Austin said.

For ticket prices and more information on the museum, click here.

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