A recent article in Smithsonian estimated that just after the Civil War, one in four cowboys were African American. Yet this population was drastically underrepresented in popular accounts. And it is still. The “cowboy” identity retains a strong presence in many contemporary black communities. This ongoing documentary project in the rural Mississippi Delta, “Delta Hill Riders” sheds light on an overlooked black subculture — one that resists both historical and modern stereotypes. The project began in January 2017 when I attended a black heritage rodeo in Greenville, Mississippi. The body of work reveals how deep and diverse this community is. […]
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