Freed blacks skilled in herding cattle found themselves in even greater demand when ranchers began selling their livestock in northern states, where beef was nearly ten times more valuable than it was in cattle-inundated Texas. The lack of significant railroads in the state meant that enormous herds of cattle needed to be physically moved to shipping points in Kansas, Colorado and Missouri. Rounding up herds on horseback, cowboys traversed unforgiving trails fraught with harsh environmental conditions and attacks from Native Americans defending their lands. African-American cowboys faced discrimination in the towns they passed through—they were barred from eating at certain restaurants or staying in certain hotels, for example—but within their crews, they found respect and a level of equality unknown to other African-Americans of the era.
* This work is now the Private collection of the singer Arlo Parks who is a big fan of my work.
Provenance: Handsigned and embossed
Dimensions: 29.7cm x 42cm
Paper: Ledger sheet (1881)
Year created: 2021
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