Delta Hill Riders

  • James McGee poses for a portrait atop his horse in Bolivar County, Mississippi on Nov. 4, 2017.

  • Peggy Smith grooms her horse, Big Jake, while others relax in the afternoon light in Bolivar County, Mississippi on Oct. 1, 2018.

  • Tyrese Evans (left to right), Jeremy Melvin, and Gee McGee dance atop their horses in the McDonald’s parking lot in Cleveland, Mississippi on Aug. 9, 2017.

  • Earlean Lawrence, 79, poses for a portrait in her living room in Cleveland, Mississippi on Dec. 28, 2019.

  • Newborn Jestin Brown is held by his father, Jessie Brown, at their home in Cleveland, Mississippi on July 2, 2018.

  • Riders make their way through farmland in rural Tallahatchie County, Mississippi, while Joe Wrenn drives his truck during a trail ride on Sept. 28, 2019.

  • Afternoon lights casts on a horse trailer in Bolivar County, Mississippi on Aug 20, 2017.

  • Peggy Smith poses for a portrait on her horse at a trail ride in Tallahatchie County, Mississippi on Aug. 20, 2017.

  • Bree Gary pets her friend’s horse during a muddy trail ride in Charleston, Mississippi on April 27, 2019.

  • Velma Hayes laughs with her granddaughter at her home in Cleveland, Mississippi on July 2, 2018.

  • Jessie Brown (left to right), Tyrese Evans, Gee McGee and Jeremy Melvin ride their horses at dusk in Bolivar County, Mississippi on Aug. 9, 2017.

  • D’Kamiyon Johnson, left, and Carlos Smith share a horse outside a rodeo in Greenville, Mississippi Oct. 27, 2018.

  • Frank Simpson’s cowboy hat rests atop a lamp in his living room in Shelby, Mississippi on Feb. 24, 2018.

  • Archie Beckwith sings at Cowboy Service in Indianola, Mississippi Sept. 24, 2017.

  • Girdine Smith, left, gets her hair prepared for a family photo by her daughter Carolyn Johnson at Smith’s home in Charleston, Mississippi on Dec. 12, 2018.

  • avaris Beamon (left), poses for a portrait with his grandfather, Rogers Beamon, at the annual Christmas parade in Cleveland, Mississippi on Dec. 2, 2017.

  • Joe “Dancing Cowboy” Wrenn poses for a portrait inside his friend’s antique car following a night of partying and dancing in Cleveland, Mississippi on Sept. 3, 2018.

  • An elder cowboy named Aubrey Smith looks out to the dance floor at Club All New Sugar Shack in Choctaw, Mississippi on Aug. 19, 2017.

  • A group of cowboys take to the dance floor at Club Black Castle in Ruleville, Mississippi on Sept. 3, 2018.

  • Gee McGee rears his horse after a rare snowfall in Bolivar County, Mississippi on Jan. 16, 2018.

{"id":21216,"grant_id":12,"user_id":34594,"grant_submission_status_id":4,"grant_result_type_id":null,"cover_block_id":235586,"story_id":24275,"place_id":null,"title":"Delta Hill Riders","excerpt":null,"excerpt_raw":null,"body":"<p>Historians agree 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 \u201ccowboy\u201d identity retains a strong presence in many contemporary black communities.\r<\/p><p>This ongoing documentary project in the Mississippi Delta, \u201cDelta Hill Riders,\u201d sheds light on an overlooked African American subculture \u2014 one that resists historical and current stereotypes.\r<\/p><p>The story is timely with the current political environment, and one that provides a renewed focus on rural America. With the hit release of \u201cOld Town Road\u201d by Lil Nas X, the topic of black cowboy diversity has become a mainstream topic of discussion.\r<\/p><p>The project aims to press against my own old archetypes \u2014 who could and could not be a cowboy, and what it means to be black in Mississippi \u2014 while uplifting the voices of my subjects.<\/p>","body_raw":"Historians agree 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 \u201ccowboy\u201d identity retains a strong presence in many contemporary black communities.\r\n\r\nThis ongoing documentary project in the Mississippi Delta, \u201cDelta Hill Riders,\u201d sheds light on an overlooked African American subculture \u2014 one that resists historical and current stereotypes.\r\n\r\nThe story is timely with the current political environment, and one that provides a renewed focus on rural America. With the hit release of \u201cOld Town Road\u201d by Lil Nas X, the topic of black cowboy diversity has become a mainstream topic of discussion.\r\n\r\nThe project aims to press against my own old archetypes \u2014 who could and could not be a cowboy, and what it means to be black in Mississippi \u2014 while uplifting the voices of my subjects.","social_approval":0,"is_shortlisted":1,"is_other":null,"is_good":null,"is_strong":0,"is_ongoing":1,"is_unpublished":0,"sent_first_email_reminder":0,"awaiting_payment":1,"has_started_payment":1,"has_started_paypal_payment":0,"is_public":0,"media_ok":0,"has_tracked":1,"amount_paid":27,"original_price":0,"external_id":"cs_live_JXYZAjKJeOlQngcftd0Z0EAfub4LUTUA0by79MY5MhcYkCaY3whO5WBw","payment_id":"pi_1G0yiGEzbGXaFe0gVAdc2Izz","session_id":null,"token":"c9iKIRaEGzjsNYMC2XD6cWYfTZ2tQuYD","grant_order_id":5056,"submitted_at":"2020-01-14T23:23:10.000000Z","affiliate_id":null,"is_forced_public":1,"address_1":null,"city":null,"region":null,"country":null,"postcode":null,"codice_fiscale":null,"started_at":"2017-01-01T00:00:00.000000Z","ended_at":null,"created_at":"2020-01-14T22:41:37.000000Z","updated_at":"2020-01-20T10:51:51.000000Z","place":null,"publications":[],"categories":[],"tags":[{"id":2639,"tag":"social 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15:03:39","last_logged_in_at":"2020-12-03T19:11:04.000000Z","last_logged_in_country":"US","registered_country":null,"is_not_spam":0,"created_at":"2019-01-16T15:03:39.000000Z","updated_at":"2020-12-03T19:11:04.000000Z","deleted_at":null,"profile":{"id":34575,"user_id":34594,"born_in_id":145573,"based_in_id":130477,"currently_in_id":130477,"nationality_id":4,"avatar":"\/users\/34594\/avatars\/qmu7p48f0fa8fadd.jpg","cover_image":null,"born_at":"1983-10-15T00:00:00.000000Z","profession":null,"bio":"Rory Doyle is a working photographer based in the Mississippi Delta. Doyle is a recipient of a 2018 Visual Artist Fellowship from the Mississippi Arts Commission.","long_bio":"<p>Rory Doyle is a working photographer based in Cleveland, Mississippi in the rural Mississippi Delta. Born and raised in Maine, Doyle studied journalism at St. Michael\u2019s College in Colchester, Vermont. In 2009, he moved to Mississippi to pursue a master\u2019s degree at Delta State University. Doyle has remained committed to photographing Mississippi and the South.\r<\/p><p>He was a 2018 Visual Artist Fellow through the Mississippi Arts Commission and National Endowment for the Arts. He won the 16th Annual Smithsonian Photo Contest in 2019, 2019 Zeiss Photography Award, and the 2019 ZEKE Award for Documentary Photography.\r<\/p><p>Doyle has exhibited in New York, London, Atlanta, Mississippi and beyond. His work has been published in The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, ProPublica, ESPN, The Guardian, CNN and numerous outlets.<\/p>","long_bio_raw":"Rory Doyle is a working photographer based in Cleveland, Mississippi in the rural Mississippi Delta. Born and raised in Maine, Doyle studied journalism at St. Michael\u2019s College in Colchester, Vermont. In 2009, he moved to Mississippi to pursue a master\u2019s degree at Delta State University. Doyle has remained committed to photographing Mississippi and the South.\r\n \r\nHe was a 2018 Visual Artist Fellow through the Mississippi Arts Commission and National Endowment for the Arts. He won the 16th Annual Smithsonian Photo Contest in 2019, 2019 Zeiss Photography Award, and the 2019 ZEKE Award for Documentary Photography.\r\n\r\nDoyle has exhibited in New York, London, Atlanta, Mississippi and beyond. His work has been published in The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, ProPublica, ESPN, The Guardian, CNN and numerous outlets.","display_name":null,"website_url":"https:\/\/www.rorydoylephoto.com\/","profile_type_id":2,"show_age":0,"twitter_handle":"rorydoylephoto","facebook_handle":null,"linkedin_handle":null,"skype_handle":null,"google_plus_handle":null,"pinterest_handle":null,"instagram_handle":"rorydoylephoto","vimeo_handle":null,"youtube_handle":null,"telephone":null,"company_name":null,"address_1":null,"address_2":null,"city":null,"region":null,"country":null,"postcode":null,"vat_id":null,"codice_fiscale":null,"codice_destinatario":null,"pec_destinatario":null,"show_explicit_content":"0","created_at":"2019-01-16T15:03:39.000000Z","updated_at":"2021-01-12T20:03:04.000000Z"}}}