2017 - Ongoing
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 “cowboy” identity retains a strong presence in many contemporary black communities.
This ongoing documentary project in the Mississippi Delta, “Delta Hill Riders,” sheds light on an overlooked African American subculture — one that resists historical and current stereotypes.
The story is timely with the current political environment, and one that provides a renewed focus on rural America. With the hit release of “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X, the topic of black cowboy diversity has become a mainstream topic of discussion.
The project aims to press against my own old archetypes — who could and could not be a cowboy, and what it means to be black in Mississippi — while uplifting the voices of my subjects.