Missing Chapter From America’s History Books
One In Four Of America’s Cowboys Were African-American
Many of the slaves in the 17th and 18th centuries were familiar with cattle herding from their homelands of West Africa. This brings historians the question of the name “Cowboy” and whether or not it was made from slave cow herders.
- On some Texas trails, about a quarter of cowboys were black.
African American cowboys were largely African American freedmen after the Civil War who were drawn to cowboy life, in part because there was not quite as much discrimination in the west as in other areas of American society at the time. For enslaved Blacks the West offered freedom and refuge from the bonds of slavery. It also gave African Americans a chance at better earnings. . After the Civil War many were employed as horsebreakers and for other tasks, but few of them became ranch foremen or managers. Some black cowboys took up careers as rodeo performers or were hired as federal peace officers in Indian Territory. Others ultimately owned their own farms and ranches.
- Hundreds of black cowboys were among the very first hands who drove huge herds along trails to Abilene, Kansas, the cattle-selling center of the Old West. They were especially skilled in vetting horses. When herding cattle, many black riders rode “on point,” ahead of the dust. Black cowboys were forced to do the hardest work with cattle, such as bronco busting, they had special skills with breaking in steeds.
Photo: No original source found, possible circa 1913 http://www.geni.com/projects/Black-Cowboys/1986
Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X meet one another
on March 26, 1964 , (x)
Video Poster's comments: Video footage of the historic meeting between Malcolm X
and Martin Luther King outside of the Senate Caucus Room, U. S. Senate, Washington. On March 26, 1964 Malcolm X met Martin Luther King, Jr. for the first and only time —
and only long enough for photographs to be taken — in Washington, D.C. as both men
attended the Senate's debate on the Civil Rights bill.
King says of the encounter. “He (Malcolm X) is very articulate, but I totally disagree with many of his political and philosophical views — at least insofar as I understand where he now stands.” - (x)
Walter S. McAfee is the African American mathematician and physicist who first calculated the speed of the moon. McAfee participated in Project Diana in the 1940s - a U.S. Army program, created to determine whether a high frequency radio signal could penetrate the earth’s outer atmosphere. To test this, scientists wanted to bounce a radar signal off the moon and back to earth. But the moon was a swiftly moving target, impossible to hit without knowing its exact speed. McAfee made the necessary calculations, and on January 10, 1946, the team sent a radar pulse through a special 40-feet square antenna towards the moon. Two and a half seconds later, they received a faint signal, proving that transmissions from earth could cross the vast distances of outer space. Official news of this scientific breakthrough did not include McAfee’s name, nor was there any recognition of the essential role he played. But Americans could not have walked on the moon had it not been for Walter S. McAfee and his calculations.