HOUSTON – Did you know that historians estimate that one in four cowboys were black? How is this so, when majority of the films in popular culture depict cowboys as white males like John Wayne and Clint Eastwood?

Unfortunately, our American history books also failed to be inclusive when exposing our students of color to black cowboys. The story is just as intriguing as it is painful: White Americans seeking cheap land—and sometimes evading debt in the United States—began moving to the Spanish and, later, Mexican territory of Texas during the first half of the 19th century. Though the Mexican government opposed slavery, white Americans brought slaves with them as they settled the frontier and established cotton farms and cattle ranches.

As a result of the South’s desire for slave ownership; Texas joined the Confederacy in 1861. Although the Civil War hardly reached Texas soil, many white Texans took up arms to fight alongside their brethren in the East. When this happened, many enslaved individuals were left behind; thereby, gaining the same skills to run farms, and how to own and operate land independently. This era made the black cowboy indispensable.

Here at Booker T. Washington High School, our Future Farmers of America instructor, Mr. Nicholas Turner, ensures that our students of color are taught the authentic history of black cowboys. In addition to teaching this negated portion of history, Mr. Turner also instructs students how to be farmers, land owners, and cattlemen via hands on activities. Currently, our students are scheduled to compete at the Houston Live Stock Rodeo Competition by raising their very own flock of chickens in addition to raising cattle. When speaking with FFA students: Joel Stafford, Marcus Williams, Taylor Bartholomew, Kendaii King, Cordale Blacklock, and Dinesty Moore, I was shocked by the amount of knowledge they retained in such a short period of time. Each explained in detail how the baby chicks must be kept warm, fed with organic feed only, and how they must have access to fresh drinking water on a daily basis.

Not only were our students highly concerned with the health of the animals, but they were also aware of what must be done in order to win the competition. The marvel and amazement on their faces during this activity is not something that can be duplicated via a textbook.

Although Mr. Turner aims to have a multitude of growth opportunities for our Future Farmers of America students, his goals are two-fold. He aims to ensure cowboys and cowgirls of color can educate while they entertain. What is better than informing the masses about the wonderful things Blacks and Hispanics did for the settling of the West that our history books have overtly left out?


Marcus Williams, Taylor Bartholomew, Kendaii King, Cordale Blacklock, & Dinesty Moore

Photo credit: Nikitra Hamilton

October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit www.edwardsforhouston.com

As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.

Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

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