Black Rodeo in the Texas Gulf Coast Region

Black Rodeo in the Texas Gulf Coast Region

Charcoal in the Ashes

Demetrius W. Pearson


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Black Rodeo in the Texas Gulf Coast Region: Charcoal in the Ashes provides an in depth sociocultural and historical analysis of the genesis and contemporary state of affairs regarding African American rodeo cowboys in southeast Texas, whose ancestors were instrumental in the development of the most celebrated livestock management industry in the world. The author painstakingly chronicles the origin of the Texas cattle industry from its Mexican roots to Austin’s Colony, better known as the George Plantation/Ranch, where African Americans were intimately involved in the livestock management industry since its inception. Although enslaved before, during, and after the Republic of Texas was established, they were early stakeholders in the expansion of the western frontier, and an indispensable source of labor that facilitated the burgeoning cattle industry. Yet, as the author maintains, American history wantonly trivialized, marginalized, and blatantly omitted their contributions. This book sheds light on these early cowboys and their descendants who have participated in America’s most prominent prole sport with little to no media exposure. The author dubbed them “Shadow Riders of the Subterranean Circuit,” and even though American sports are integrated African American rodeo cowboys may be metaphorically seen as bits of charcoal spread among ashes.


Demetrius W. Pearson:

Demetrius W. Pearson is associate professor in the Sport and Fitness Administration Program at the University of Houston.