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Black Cowboys: An American Story

Traveling Exhibition ~ This is a past Witte Museum exhibition that is now available to travel to other institutions.

Explore the lives and work of the numerous Black men, women and children—enslaved and free—who labored on ranches and participated on cattle drives from before the Civil War through the turn of the twentieth century.

Through striking visuals and transformative experiences, this powerful exhibition transports visitors through time to meet a variety of real Black cowboy figures and discover their profound impact in American history.

Biographical profiles, photos, artifacts, multimedia and interactives reveal how Black cowboys were integral to the American economy, shaped the legacies of Black ranching families and turned ranch skills into popular performances in rodeos, music and film.

By revealing stories that have largely been untold, Black Cowboys offers insight into the legendary cowboy, a clearer picture of the Black West, and a more diverse portrait of the American West.



Special Thanks

Black Cowboys: An American Story is presented by Bank of America and generously supported by the Ed Rachal Foundation, John L. Santikos Charitable Fund of the San Antonio Area Foundation and H-E-B.

Exhibition Highlights

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