Ridin' Sucka Free

  • Dates
    2019 - Ongoing
  • Author
  • Topics Portrait
  • Locations New Orleans, Houston, Philadelphia

A collection of images documenting the lives of Black horseman in the United States.

Ridin’ Sucka Free, is a series that came about during conversations surrounding Black life in relation to horsemanship and agriculture. Pop culture’s interest in Black cowboys quickly rose following the release of Lil Nas X’s song Old Town Road. Prior to this introduction, the existence of the American cowboy can be traced back to antebellum Texas, during which White colonists traveling westward first encountered Mexican vaqueros, these colonists later appropriated their equestrian techniques. By the end of the civil war in 1865, a third of the cowboys in existence were vaqueros and a quarter of them were Black.

The systemic white-washing of American history is not an unfamiliar tale, despite the fact African Americans, Native Americans, and Mexicans made up a majority of the cowboys that exist in the United States, their presence has been seemingly erased from the contemporary Americana. Ridin’ Sucka Free is an on-going project that seeks to document the experiences of Black cowboys across cultures and borders in the America’s; the ones still here, using horses and agriculture as a means of survival and livelihood.

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