Real Cowgirls and Real Cowboys, an exhibition of art works by; Alicia Henry Javaka Steptoe Helene Ruiz Aaron Sinift James Green David Freeman G. Holwerda-Williams. These local, national, and international artists, pay homage to historical figures and the lore of Black/Native/Latino cowgirls and cowboys.
There was Petra Herrera leading a force of 200 soldiers on the battlefield during the Mexican Revolution, actress and spy Pauline Cushman, and Cathay Williams born enslaved, all the first women (disguised as men) in military troupes. There was Stagecoach Mary the first African American letter carrier in Montana usa who was said to have; fought wolves, trudged through freezing rain, drank hard, brawled harder, she revolted against every cultural stereotype of her times, routinely punching-out cowboys half her age, and building a schoolhouse for Native American girls, are among her amazing accomplishments. Most cowboys were Mexican, the remainder, a large group, was African American. As well, two regiments of the western US Cavalry were African American, known as the legendary ?Buffalo Soldiers". There were also; cowboys Bill Pickett, Nat Turner, Isom Dart, Las Adelitas and Soldaderas female fighting forces of the Mexican Revolution,Vaqueras/Vaqueros (from which buckaroo originates as a mispronunciation) to name a few of the Black/Native/Latino real cowgirls and real cowboys. Mavericks in the lives they led.
Although, Black/Native/Latino cowgirl and cowboy historical figures and cultural traditions are more often unsung, marginalized in popular historical and contemporary references, these figures and traditions can be found in contemporary culture. Actress Kimberly Elise portrayed Stagecoach Mary in 2012 TV Western Hannah?s Law which also featured activist/actor Danny Glover as cowboy Isom Dart, director/writer Robert Rodriguez Western films El Mariachi 1992 and Desperado 1995, former NFL player/actor Fred Williamson directed and starred in 1976 Western films Adiós Amigo and Joshua, the Black Rider and others, Look Out Sister 1946 black western musical film starring multi-talented musician/bandleader Louie Jordan who is described by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as the Grandfather of Rock n Roll, and in 1919 The Homesteader a lost black-and-white silent film (and novel) by African American author and ground-breaking filmmaker Oscar Micheux.
Mexican cowgirls and cowboys and Charreria ranching associations in Mexico continue to promote and contribute to modern ranching culture and equestrian traditions with rodeo events, education, and ranching practices. Present day, women in both Mexico and the United States consider Adelita as a symbol of motivation and hope, and contemporary cowboy champion calf roper Fred Whitfield, are among many individuals, communities, and organizations contributing to keeping alive, the legends and traditions of Black/Native/Latino cowgirls and cowboys, in the 21st century.