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Fort Worth Flashback: Lives of black cowboys tell story of skill, grit

Posted Feb. 4, 2013

In honor of Black History Month, each week in February Fort Worth Flashback will take a look at the role of African-American residents in our city’s history.

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African-American cowhands regularly worked side by side with Mexican vaqueros and Anglo cowboys. But black cowboys often had to survive discrimination, bigotry and prejudice.

Black cowhands did what was necessary to gain the trust and respect of those who controlled their destiny. That meant being the best — at roping, bronc busting, taming mustangs or calling the brands.

Among the heroes were Peter Martin, who hauled freight and assisted insurgents in a rebellion against the Mexican government while building a large herd of cattle; Bose Ikard, a friend of Charles Goodnight, who went on Goodnight’s first cattle drive and opened the Goodnight-Loving Trail; and Johanna July, a black Seminole woman who had her own method of taming horses in the Rio Grande for the soldiers at Fort Duncan.

Black cowhands played an important role that has been largely unreported in most history books.

The Fort Worth Library has approximately 10,000 items pertaining to the history of Fort Worth and Tarrant County. These items include city and county government documents, newspapers, directories, cemetery association records, maps as well as popular and scholarly books written by local authors or about local subjects. To learn more, call 817-392-7740 or email the Genealogy, History and Archives Section.

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Calendar

Emergency Physicians Advisory Board : 12:30 p.m. Jan. 23, 2020; TCMS Building, 3rd Floor, 555 Hemphill.
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Lake Arlington Lift Station Force Main Project Meeting: 6 p.m. Jan. 23, 2020; Tarrant County College Opportunity Center, 5901 Fitzhugh Ave.

Municipal Court Hearing: 8:30 a.m. Jan. 24, 2020; Municipal Court, Court No. 9, 3741 Southwest Loop 820.
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Federal Contracting and Certification Workshop: 9 a.m. Jan. 25, 2020; Fort Worth Business Assistance Center, 1150 South Freeway, Fort Worth Texas, 76104.
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Presentations and Pitches Bootcamp: 9 a.m. Jan. 25, 2020; Fort Worth Business Assistance Center, 1150 South Freeway, Fort Worth Texas, 76104.
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Opening Doors to Homeownership: 10 a.m. Jan. 25, 2020; Sweet Home Baptist Church, 5225 Ramey Ave.

Chinese New Year Celebration at Fire Station Community Center: 11 a.m. Jan. 25, 2020; Fire Station Community Center, 1601 Lipscomb.

Building Standards Commission Pre-meeting: 9 a.m. Jan. 27, 2020; City Council Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas St.
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Building Standards Commission: 9:30 a.m. Jan. 27, 2020; City Council Chamber, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas St.
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U.S. Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base, Fort Worth (NAS JRB Fort Worth) Regional Coordination Committee (RCC): 1:30 p.m. Jan. 27, 2020; Benbrook Library, 1065 Mercedes St, Benbrook, Texas 76126.
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Audit Committee: 1 p.m. Jan. 28, 2020; City Council Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas St.

Joint Fort Worth City Council and Fort Worth Employees' Retirement Fund Board Meeting: 2 p.m. Jan. 28, 2020; City Council Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas St.

City Council Work Session: 3 p.m. Jan. 28, 2020; City Council Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas St.

City Council Meeting: 7 p.m. Jan. 28, 2020; City Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas St.

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