The West’s forgotten black cowboys: African-American ranch hands who got all the worst jobs, rode the lamest horses, BANNED from brothels


These are the forgotten black cowboys who at one point made up 25 per cent of the 35,000 cowboys in the Wild West.

Captured in these black and white photos, the African American cowboys were given all the worst jobs on the trail, had to ride the lamest horses but were banned from brothels because of the colour of their skin.

And despite their huge numbers, they have been largely erased from most popular film and TV depictions of the American West.

This photo shows an African-American cowboy proudly sitting saddled on his horse in Pocatello, Idaho, in 1903. It is part of a rare set of photos that reveal the forgotten history of black cowboys that made up a significant portion of the cowboys in the Wild West. By the 1870s and 1880s, as many as 25 per cent of the 35,000 cowboys in the Old West were in fact black

This shows the famous cowboy Jesse Stahl riding a horse backwards. Jesse was an African-American cowboy and rodeo rider who was legendary for his skills in the saddle. Stahl was described as a topnotch horseman and a first-class gentleman. Conflicting sources establish Jesse Stahl's birthplace as Tennessee, Texas or California sometime between 1879 and 1883

Several legendary gunslingers are revealed in the gallery of photos.

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