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Trails Center Celebrates Black History Month with New Exhibit on Black Cowboys

By Lesley Collins

Black cowboy exhibit at the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center.

Black cowboy exhibit at the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) National Historic Trails Interpretive Center (NHTIC) is celebrating Black History Month with a new exhibit titled "Black Cowboys: The Forgotten Range Riders." The exhibit opened on Feb. 1, 2009, and will continue throughout February.

According to some estimates, there were at least 5,000 black cowboys in the western United States. However, images of black cowboys in movies, television and books are scarce, giving the false impression that African Americans weren't cowboys.

The exhibit features rodeo stars Bill Pickett and Jesse Stahl, along with a famous black cowboy, Nat Love, also known as "Deadwood Dick." Love earned his nickname from a shooting competition in South Dakota, after placing 14 out of 14 bullets in the center of a target at 250 yards.

"This new exhibit recognizes black cowboys and their contributions to U.S. and Wyoming history," said Eric Fransted, acting director of the Trails Center. "This exhibit is timely and appropriate for the Cowboy State."

The NHTIC is a public-private partnership between the BLM and the National Historic Trails Center Foundation. The facility is located at 1501 N. Poplar Street, Casper, Wyo. Winter hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

For more information, contact Alex Rose at the NHTIC, 307-261-7780.

Last updated: 02-05-2009