Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?

If you are true music fan, you will recognize Paula Cole's 90's song title. No this post isn't about the 90's or music for that matter. Being that it s the last day in February, I had to take a moment to pay homage to my people.

I have always been proud to be a Black American. Yes I say Black American. I prefer the term, but take no offense to African American. (My reasons for another post...) I am proud to come from a lineage of people who know how to encounter injustice with true courage and bravery. I am proud to come from a lineage of people who were commitment to see change even if it meant not in their life time.

But in 2012 I pause out of concern. Truly where have all the cowboys gone? Where are the voices standing for change? The voices sharing the bravery of yesterday and the glad tidings of tomorrow. Somewhere we have lost our connection to the past and have desecrated the glorious history of a people to being a behavior--rap music, sagging pants, ill language, flashy jewelry, chrome wheels, etc, etc. We are nowhere near removed from the struggle. And forgetting the efforts of those who were a part of it and witnessed it is a blasphemous shame to humanity.

With the westward expansion of the United States, it is estimated at one fourth of all cowboys were Black. These men most times received equal wages as their white counterparts. Just like others, Blacks forged west in hopes of creating their own slice of the American pie. They built all black western towns--Nicodemus, Kansas; Dearfield Colorado; Boley, Oklahoma. They farmed, lived in sod houses, and worked hard. How dare we forget? How dare we not know? How dare we not remind ourselves that Black History is American History.

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