Black Cowboys

Black Cowboys

From the Mississippi Delta bayou to Buckaroo country, Oklahoma rodeo grounds to the streets of Oakland and Los Angeles, people participate in and identify with cowboy and horseback communities around the country. In this collection of videos, we honor the significant and lasting influence that Black cowboys have on what it means to be a cowboy.

Photo by Marla Aufmuth.

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Black Cowboys
  • Steel Pony Blues

    Dom blends folk mastery, blues prowess and country dexterity into a compound beyond compare. Dom Flemons performs "Steel Pony Blues" during the "Stay a Little Longer" show at the 36th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.

    ABOUT THE ARTIST

    Dom Flemons
    Silver Springs, MD
    Dom Flemons is an award-winni...

  • How to Play the Bones

    Dom gives a lesson on playing the bones. Whether your bones are traditional bones or wooden ones, Dom Flemons can teach you how to play them with both hands.

    ABOUT THE ARTIST
    Dom Flemons
    Silver Springs, MD
    Dom Flemons is an award-winning musician, singer-songwriter, and slam poet. Carrying on th...

  • He's A Lone Ranger

    Dom sings an ode to Bass Reeves, the first Black Deputy U.S. Marshall. Dom Flemons sings "He's a Lone Ranger" during the "Stay a Little Longer" show at the 36th Gathering.

    ABOUT THE ARTIST

    Dom Flemons
    Silver Springs, MD
    Dom Flemons is an award-winning musician, singer-songwriter, and slam poet...

  • Lacassine Special

    Geno plays "Lacassine Special" on his single-row diatonic button accordion, a Cajun tune that is about a man telling his woman that she needs to change her ugly ways if she wants to stay with him. This performance is from "Blues on the Range" at the 36th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.

    ABOUT T...

  • Help

    Miko sings about those times when we need a little a help. Miko Marks sings "Help" during the "Straight Chutin' Champions" show at the 36th Gathering.

    .....

    ABOUT THE ARTIST

    Miko Marks
    Oakland, CA
    Originally from Flint, Michigan, this graduate of Louisiana's famed Grambling State University is...

  • John Henry

    Dom and Brian share a lively instrumental duet. Dom Flemons and Brian Farrow perform "John Henry" during "The Roots of Cowboy Music" show at the 33rd National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.

    ABOUT THE ARTISTS

    Dom Flemons + Brian Farrow
    Silver Springs, MD
    Dom Flemons is an award-winning musician, singe...

  • Myrtis

    Pipp shares a tune about a rodeo legend. Pipp Gillette performs "Myrtis" during the "Real Deal" show from the 2022 Wild Ride.

    ABOUT THE ARTIST

    Pipp Gillette
    Crockett, TX
    Pipp Gillette lives and works on the family ranch near Lovelady, Texas, where his grandfather started raising cattle and cott...

  • Bee de la Manche

    Geno and the guys get your blood pumping with a lively creole number. Geno Delafose & French Rockin' Boogie perform "Bee de la Manche" during the "Battle of the Bands" show at the 36th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.

    ABOUT THE ARTIST

    Geno Delafose & French Rockin' Boogie
    Eunice, LA
    Geno Dela...

  • Little Joe the Wrangler

    Dom does his rendition of a classic cowboy misfortune ballad penned by collector Jack Thorp. Dom Flemons performs "Little Joe the Wrangler" during the "Tribute to Don Edwards" show at the 36th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.

    ABOUT THE ARTIST

    Dom Flemons
    Silver Springs, MD
    Dom Flemons is an a...

  • Ol' Proc

    Andy bandies words praising Proc's ways with stock, penned by Wally McRae. Andy Hedges recites "Ol' Proc" during the "Words Growing Wild in the West" at the 35th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.

    ABOUT THE ARTIST

    Andy Hedges
    Lubbock, TX
    Andy Hedges is a songster, reciter, storyteller, guitaris...

  • You Used to Call Me

    Geno and the band have got your number with this zydeco number. Geno Delafose + French Rockin' Boogie perform "You Used to Call Me" during the "Western Jukebox" show at the 35th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.

    ABOUT THE ARTIST
    Geno Delafose + French Rockin' Boogie
    Eunice, LA
    Geno Delafose and...

  • Calabash Dance and Juba

    FEATURING: Dom Flemons, Pipp Gillette, Lloyd Wright.

    These three musician-historians join banjos and bones for this lively mix of tunes. Dom Flemons plays bones, while Pipp Gillette and Lloyd Wright play banjo of "Calabash Dance" and "Juba" during the Keynote Address at the 36th Gathering.

    .......

  • My Baby Said Yes

    Dom sings a bluesy Tampa Red love song. Dom Flemons sings "My Baby Said Yes Instead of Maybe" during the "Blues on the Range" show at the 36th Gathering.

    .....

    ABOUT THE ARTIST

    Dom Flemons
    Silver Springs, MD
    Dom Flemons is an award-winning musician, singer-songwriter, and slam poet. Carrying o...