Who were the black cowboys? They were drovers, foremen, fiddlers, cowpunchers, cattle rustlers, cooks, and singers. They worked as wranglers, riders, ropers, bulldoggers, and bronc busters. They came from varied backgrounds—some grew up in slavery, while free blacks often got their start in Texas and Mexico. Most who joined the long trail drives were men, but black women also rode and worked on western ranches and farms.
The first overview of the subject in more than fifty years, Black Cowboys in the American West surveys the life and work of these cattle drivers from the years before the Civil War through the turn of the twentieth century. Including both classic, previously published articles and exciting new research, this collection also features select accounts of twentieth-century rodeos, music, people, and films. Arranged in three sections—“Cowboys on the Range,” “Performing Cowboys,” and “Outriders of the Black Cowboys”—the thirteen chapters illuminate the great diversity of the black cowboy experience.
Like all ranch hands and riders, African American cowboys lived hard, dangerous lives. But black drovers were expected to do the roughest, most dangerous work—and to do it without complaint. They faced discrimination out west, albeit less than in the South, which many had left in search of autonomy and freedom. As cowboys, they could escape the brutal violence visited on African Americans in many southern communities and northern cities.
Black cowhands remain an integral part of life in the West, the descendants of African Americans who ventured west and helped settle and establish black communities. This long-overdue examination of nineteenth- and twentieth-century black cowboys ensures that they, and their many stories and experiences, will continue to be known and told.
"Black Women in Texas History" draws together a multi-author narrative of the experiences and impact of black American women from the time of slavery until the recent past. Each chapter, written by an expert on the era, provides a readable survey and overview of the lives and roles of black Texas women during that period. Each provides careful documentation, which, along with the thorough bibliography compiled by the volume editors, will provide a starting point for others wanting to build on this important topic.
The authors address significant questions about population demographics, employment patterns, family and social dimensions, legal and political rights, and individual accomplishments. They look not only at how African American women have been shaped by the larger culture but also at how these women have, in turn, affected the culture and history of Texas. This work situates African American women within the context of their times and offers a due appreciation and analysis of their lives and accomplishments.
"Black Women in Texas History" is an important addition to history and sociology curriculums as well as black studies and women's studies programs. It will provide for interested students, scholars, and general readers a comprehensive survey of the crucial role these women played in shaping the history of the Lone Star State.
From a lynching in Paris at the turn of the century to the 1998 murder of Jasper resident James Byrd Jr., who was dragged to death behind a truck, this volume uncovers the violent side of race relations in the Lone Star State.
Historian Bruce A. Glasrud has curated an essential contribution to Texas history and historiography that will also bring attention to a chapter in the state’s history that, for many, is still very much a part of the present.
Tracking the Texas
Rangers: The Twentieth Century is an anthology of fifteen previously
published articles and chapter excerpts covering key topics of the Texas
Rangers during the twentieth century. The task of determining the role of the
Rangers as the state evolved and what they actually accomplished for the
benefit of the state is a difficult challenge. The actions of the Rangers fit
no easy description. There is a dark side to the story of the Rangers; during
the Mexican Revolution, for example, some murdered with impunity. Others
sought to restore order in the border communities as well as in the remainder
of Texas. It is not lack of interest that complicates the unveiling of the
mythical force. With the possible exception of the Alamo, probably more has
been written about the Texas Rangers than any other aspect of Texas
history. Tracking the Texas Rangers
covers leaders such as Captains Bill McDonald, “Lone Wolf” Gonzaullas, and
Barry Caver, accomplished Rangers like Joaquin Jackson and Arthur Hill, and
the use of Rangers in the Mexican Revolution. Chapters discuss their role in
the oil fields, in riots, and in capturing outlaws. Most important, the
Rangers of the twentieth century experienced changes in investigative
techniques, strategy, and intelligence gathering. Tracking looks at the use
of Rangers in labor disputes, in race issues, and in the Tejano civil rights
movement. The selections cover critical aspects of those
experiences—organization, leadership, cultural implications, rural and urban
life, and violence. In their
introduction, editors Bruce A. Glasrud and Harold J. Weiss, Jr., discuss
various themes and controversies surrounding the twentieth-century Rangers
and their treatment by historians over the years. They also have added
annotations to the essays to explain where new research has shed additional
light on an event to update or correct the original article text.
Harlem Renaissance in the West: The New Negro's Western Experience will change the way students and scholars of the Harlem Renaissance view the efforts of artists, musicians, playwrights, club owners, and various other players in African American communities all over the American West to participate fully in the cultural renaissance that took hold during that time.
The articles in this volume, written over a span of almost three decades, were chosen for their readability, scholarship, and general interest.
Judith Kaaz Doyle
Robert A. Goldberg
Kenneth Wayne Howell
Larry P. Knight
Rebecca A. Kosary
Sarah R. Massey
Jeanette Nyda Mendelssohn Passty
Janice L. Sumler-Edmond
Cary D. Wintz
" . . . a valuable addition to the literature chronicling the black experience in the land of the Lone Star. While previous studies have concentrated on regions most reflective of Dixie origins, this collection examines the tri-ethnic area of Texas adjoining Mexico wherein cotton was scarce and cattle plentiful. Glasrud has assembled an excellent group of essays from which readers will learn much."-L. Patrick Hughes, professor of history, Austin Community College
WINNER 2013 of the Liz Carpenter Award for Research in the History of Women, presented by the Texas State Historical Association
Throughout the South, black women were crucial to the Civil Rights Movement, serving as grassroots and organizational leaders. They protested, participated, sat in, mobilized, created, energized, led particular efforts, and served as bridge builders to the rest of the community. Ignored at the time by white politicians and the media alike, with few exceptions they worked behind the scenes to effect the changes all in the movement sought. Until relatively recently, historians, too, have largely ignored their efforts.
Although African American women mobilized all across Dixie, their particular strategies took different forms in different states, just as the opposition they faced from white segregationists took different shapes. Studies of what happened at the state and local levels are critical not only because of what black women accomplished, but also because their activism, leadership, and courage demonstrated the militancy needed for a mass movement.
In this volume, scholars address similarities and variations by providing case studies of the individual states during the 1950s and 1960s, laying the groundwork for more synthetic analyses of the circumstances, factors, and strategies used by black women in the former Confederate states to destroy the system of segregation in this country.
The actions of the Rangers fit no easy description. There is a dark side to the story of the Rangers; during the Mexican Revolution, for example, some murdered with impunity. Others sought to restore order in the border communities as well as in the remainder of Texas. It is not lack of interest that complicates the unveiling of the mythical force. With the possible exception of the Alamo, probably more has been written about the Texas Rangers than any other aspect of Texas history.
Tracking the Texas Rangers covers leaders such as Captains Bill McDonald, “Lone Wolf” Gonzaullas, and Barry Caver, accomplished Rangers like Joaquin Jackson and Arthur Hill, and the use of Rangers in the Mexican Revolution. Chapters discuss their role in the oil fields, in riots, and in capturing outlaws.
Most important, the Rangers of the twentieth century experienced changes in investigative techniques, strategy, and intelligence gathering. Tracking looks at the use of Rangers in labor disputes, in race issues, and in the Tejano civil rights movement. The selections cover critical aspects of those experiences—organization, leadership, cultural implications, rural and urban life, and violence.
In their introduction, editors Bruce A. Glasrud and Harold J. Weiss, Jr., discuss various themes and controversies surrounding the twentieth-century Rangers and their treatment by historians over the years. They also have added annotations to the essays to explain where new research has shed additional light on an event to update or correct the original article text.
Many black Americans continued to serve in times of military need. Nearly 180,000 African Americans served in units of the U.S. Colored Troops during the Civil War, and others, from states such as Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Missouri, and Kansas, participated in state militias organized to protect local populations from threats of Confederate invasion. As such, the Civil War was a turning point in the acceptance of black soldiers for national defense. By 1900, twenty-two states and the District of Columbia had accepted black men into some form of military service, usually as state militiamen—brothers to the “buffalo soldiers” of the regular army regiments, but American military men regardless.
Little has been published about them, but Brothers to the Buffalo Soldiers: Perspectives on the African American Militia and Volunteers, 1865–1919, offers insights into the varied experiences of black militia units in the post–Civil War period. The book includes eleven articles that focus either on “Black Participation in the Militia” or “Black Volunteer Units in the War with Spain.” The articles, collected and introduced by author and scholar Bruce A. Glasrud, provide an overview of the history of early black citizen-soldiers and offer criticism from prominent academics interested in that experience.
Brothers to the Buffalo Soldiers discusses a previously little-known aspect of the black military experience in U.S. history, while deliberating on the discrimination these men faced both within and outside the military. Chosen on the bases of scholarship, balance, and readability, these articles provide a rare composite picture of the black military man’s life during this period. Brothers to the Buffalo Soldiers offers both a valuable introductory text for students of military studies and a solid source of material for African American historians.
Presented with illustrations and a detailed timeline, African Americans and the Presidency provides anyone interested in African American history and politics with a unique perspective on the path carved by the predecessors of Barack Obama, and the meaning their efforts had for the United States.
The most comprehensive and up-to-date guide to Texas historiography of the past quarter-century, this volume of original essays will be an invaluable resource and definitive reference for teachers, students, and researchers of Texas history. Conceived as a follow-up to the award-winning A Guide to the History of Texas (1988), Discovering Texas History focuses on the major trends in the study of Texas history since 1990.
In two sections, arranged topically and chronologically, some of the most prominent authors in the field survey the major works and most significant interpretations in the historical literature. Topical essays take up historical themes ranging from Native Americans, Mexican Americans, African Americans, and women in Texas to European immigrant history; literature, the visual arts, and music in the state; and urban and military history. Chronological essays cover the full span of Texas historiography from the Spanish era through the Civil War, to the Progressive Era and World Wars I and II, and finally to the early twenty-first century.
Critical commentary on particular books and articles is the unifying purpose of these contributions, whose authors focus on analyzing and summarizing the subjects that have captured the attention of professional historians in recent years. Together the essays gathered here will constitute the standard reference on Texas historiography for years to come, guiding readers and researchers to future, ever deeper discoveries in the history of Texas.
With Big Bend’s Ancient and Modern Past, editors Bruce A. Glasrud and Robert J. Mallouf provide a helpful compilation of articles originally published in the Journal of Big Bend Studies, reviewing the unique past of the Big Bend area from the earliest habitation to 1900.
Scholars of the region investigate not only the peoples who have successively inhabited it but also the nature of the environment and the responses to that environment. As the studies in this book demonstrate, the character of the region has, to a great extent, dictated its history.
The study of Big Bend history is also the study of borderlands history. Studying and researching across borders or boundaries, whether national, state, or regional, requires a focus on the factors that often both unite and divide the inhabitants. The dual nature of citizenship, of land holding, of legal procedures and remedies, of education, and of history permeate the lives and livelihoods of past and present residents of the Big Bend.
The contributors portray the blacks who accompanied Cabeza de Vaca, Coronado and de Vargas and recount their interactions with Native Americans in colonial New Mexico. Chapters on the territorial period examine black trappers and traders as well as review the issue of slavery in the territory and the blacks who accompanied Confederate troops and fought in the Union army during the Civil War in New Mexico. Eventually blacks worked on farms and ranches, in mines, and on railroads as well as in the military, seeking freedom and opportunity in New Mexico’s wide open spaces. A number of black towns were established in rural areas. Lacking political power because they represented such a small percentage of New Mexico’s population, blacks relied largely on their own resources and networks, particularly churches and schools.
Jessica Brannon-Wranosky and Bruce A. Glasrud have brought together top scholars to shine a light on this unique chapter in Texas history. An overview by John R. Lundberg offers a comprehensive survey of the impeachment process. Kay Reed Arnold then follows the Ferguson story into the halls of academia at the University of Texas—which Ferguson threatened to close—sparking a fierce response by faculty, alumni, students, and, especially, the Women’s Committee for Good Government. Rachel M. Gunter further places the Ferguson impeachment in the context of the suffrage movement. Leah LaGrone Ochoa then explores Ferguson’s hot-and-cold relationship with the Texas press, and Mark Stanley examines the impact of the impeachment on Texas politics in the decades that followed. Jessica Brannon-Wranosky concludes with an assessment of the historical memory of Ferguson's impeachment throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
Impeached: The Removal of Texas Governor James E. Ferguson reveals how power ebbed and flowed in twentieth-century Texas and includes several annotated primary documents critical to understanding the Ferguson impeachment.
In four parts—comprehending the place, people, politics and economic life, and society and culture—Carlson and Glasrud and their contributors survey the confluence of life and landscape shaping the West Texas of today. Early chapters define the region. The “giant side of Texas” is a nineteenth-century geographical description of a vast area that includes the Panhandle, Llano Estacado, Permian Basin, and Big Bend–Trans-Pecos country. It is an arid, windblown environment that connects intimately with the history of Texas culture.
Carlson and Glasrud take a nonlinear approach to exploring the many cultural influences on West Texas, including the Tejanos, the oil and gas economy, and the major cities. Readers can sample topics in whichever order they please, whether they are interested in learning about ranching, recreation, or turn-of-the-century education. Throughout, familiar western themes arise: the urban growth of El Paso is contrasted with the mid-century decline of small towns and the social shifting that followed. Well-known Texas scholars explore popular perceptions of West Texas as sparsely populated and rife with social contradiction and rugged individualism.
West Texas comes into yet clearer view through essays on West Texas women, poets, Native peoples, and musicians. Gathered here is a long overdue consideration of the landscape, culture, and everyday lives of one of America’s most iconic and understudied regions.
Tackling a number of such presumptions—that a viable labor movement never existed in the Lone Star State; that black, brown, and white laborers, both male and female, were unable to achieve even short-term solidarity; that labor unions in Texas were ineffective because of laborers’ inability to confront employers—the editors and contributors to this volume lay the foundation for establishing the importance of labor to a fuller understanding of Texas history. They show, for example, that despite differing working conditions and places in society, many workers managed to unite, sometimes in biracial efforts, to overturn the top-down strategy utilized by Texas employers.
Texas Labor History also facilitates an understanding of how the state’s history relates to, reflects, and differs from national patterns and movements. This groundbreaking collection of studies offers notable opportunities for new directions of inquiry and will benefit historians and students for years to come.