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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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Shaping Your Policy and Company Culture with Employee Handbooks: 11:30 a.m. May 28, 2019; James Guinn Entrepreneurial Campus, 1150 South Freeway.
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Operations Committee Meeting: 12:40 p.m. May 28, 2019; DFW Airport Headquarters Building, Board Room, 2400 Aviation Drive.
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City Council Called Special Meeting: 1 p.m. May 28, 2019; City Council Chamber, City Hall, 200 Texas St.
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Finance/Audit Committee Meeting: 1 p.m. May 28, 2019; DFW Airport Headquarters Building, Board Room, 2400 Aviation Drive.
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Concessions/Commercial Development Committee Meeting: 1:10 p.m. May 28, 2019; DFW Airport Headquarters Building, Board Room, 2400 Aviation Drive.
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Executive Compensation Committee Meeting: 1:20 p.m. May 28, 2019; DFW Airport Headquarters Building, Board Room, 2400 Aviation Drive.
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Canceled City Council Work Session : 3 p.m. May 28, 2019; City Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.

Civil Service Commission Meeting: 6 p.m. May 28, 2019; Bob Bolen Public Safety Complex, Auditorium, 505 W. Felix St.
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Your Historic and Replacement Windows Workshop: 6 p.m. May 28, 2019; Hazel Harvey Peace Center for Neighborhoods, 818 Misouri Ave.

Canceled City Council Meeting: 7 p.m. May 28, 2019; City Council Chambers, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.

Fort Worth Sports Authority Board Meeting: 2 p.m. May 29, 2019; Fort Worth Convention Center, Executive Board Room, 1201 Houston Street.
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Carroll Street Intersections Project Meeting: 6 p.m. May 29, 2019; University of North Texas Health Science Center, Carl E. Everett Education & Administration Building, Room 506, 3500 Camp Bowie Boulevard.

Dallas Fort Worth International Airport Board Meeting: 8:30 a.m. May 30, 2019; DFW Airport Headquarters Building, Board Room, 2400 Aviation Drive.
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South Hills Street Maintenance Project Meeting: 6 p.m. May 30, 2019; South Hills Christian Church, 3200 Bilglade Road.

Deferred Compensation Committee Meeting: 9 a.m. May 31, 2019; Fort Worth Credit Union Board Room, 2309 Montgomery St.
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