The Black Cowboy Museum (Texas Country Reporter)
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Larry Callies has created a museum about the Black Cowboy, and shares their stories with all who visit.
1104 3rd St.
Rosenberg, TX 77471
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on the ideal historical mural of the American West no character is more central than the cowboy he appears high atop his horse breaking a dusty remote landscape his Spurs clink with every step his sharp calls Bend herds of animals to his will quiet but friendly gentle but as hard as leather honest except for the tall tales the portraits practically paint themselves you've seen the image thousands of times but down in Southeast Texas there's a man who says the canvas of cowboy history remains tragically incomplete I had an uncle named Uncle Willie he was born June 19 1919 he used to go to his house in cowboy and sit there and listen to our history people didn't want the black cow and to be known Larry Callas tells cowboy stories from a unique voice in more ways than one his distinct sound comes from a vocal chord disorder and as eye-opening perspective comes from his own experiences as a Roper cowboy and former country singer he's been surrounded by the stories and accomplishments of real-life african-american cowboys but he's never heard the media or the history books tell those tales so now he is [Music] I like to welcome y'all to the black cowboy music my name is Larry countless and I'm gonna tell you why I talk like I do not used to be a country-western singer George straights manager was my manager in one time back in eighties you know what's my side of something it's mom Kristin the first account boy sucking and I know when God closes one door he opens and he's open this museum Wow welcome to the black cowboy Museum and Rosenberg or a guided tour from the owner himself is just a phone call away Larry has spent years gathering up artifacts and historical accounts that explain how african-americans are at the very heart of cowboy life we always thought maybe some researchers even say that the word cowboy was at first meant just for black people he was calling account he refused to be called the cowboy if somebody called oum days account he's in up aren't you boy maybe you say ok in the era of the cattle drive 20 to 25% of all Cowboys were black but Larry's museum talks about how people of color were a rare sight in the Golden Age of Hollywood westerns even one of the most famous Horsemen of all the Lone Ranger drew inspiration from the exploits of an african-american named bass Reeves [Music] but thirty years he was Martian he captured three thousand they started singing about me they started telling stories a buddy he never got shot and he only had two Larry's museum doesn't stop with the Wild West he covers rodeo and country music and dedicated black cowboys who fought against segregation people who just wanted to be included and recognized by history what going bang and some more pretty good people that come through here are mostly from Houston but I have people from South Africa I have people from it I have people from jerk I have people from all larry was lassoed by the cowboy life when he was just a little boy it led him at first to country music until he lost his singing voice then he picked up team roping and he still competes at rodeos today his friends his income his hobbies it all comes from his passion for this lifestyle I'm not the cowboy these guys but I can tell a good story when people come here what do you want them to leave with I want them to leave with enough is that there were black Cowboys important though is not gonna go in that's my biggest thing is it what my dad did it would go up bang he worked hard he was proud to be a cowboy when I went to school I used to be yeah to want to be a cowboy because there wasn't any part I can't was in the sixties so but that didn't stop me now I'm still a cowboy [Music] like so many others Larry Callas loves the Western Way of life it's all he's ever known and now with his homegrown collection he's making sure that anyone no matter what they look like can ride along that trail to the black cowboy museum keeps the open range open to all black why you're a person you know a cowboy if you're not you're not you know you could be black white Hispanic Indian what give me a real cowboy it will come out some cowboy direct apps some Cowboys tennis shoes you know a real cowboy wolf whatever he can wear the hat doesn't make a cowboy it's what's in your heart that makes a real cowboy [Music] you