BLACK WEST

so he’s ambling down Seventh Avenue and i’m chastizing myself for envy — envy of this man’s jacket, its coolness stronger than irony… then i notice the cowhide boots, glance up to find a 10-gallon hat — The Federation of Black Cowboys is real.

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how deep is America? how long will Reconstruction take?
I feel differently about guns now that i’ve shot some.

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“Since the 1500s, starting with the Portuguese, African Americans, were highly sought after for their diplomatic and versatile language skills. . . At the end of the Civil War, about 5 million cattle and wild horses were roaming free after being left to their own devices during the war. A huge demand for skilled cowhands developed and the lawlessness of the West did not necessarily dictate a man’s worth solely on the color of his skin. No less than twenty-five percent of all cowhands were Black. In fact, the label “cowboy” is thought to have originally been a derogatory term used to describe Black “cowhands”. As the word “cowboy” has grown immeasurably in popularity, the Black cowboys the term described have been stricken from the record with extreme prejudice.”
Reclaiming The Legacy of the Black West

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