To mark Black History Month, Wrangler has partnered with the Federation of Black Cowboys (FBC), a New York City-based cowboy community that remains committed to sharing the legacy of their cowboy ancestors with the next generation of young African-American city youth.
During the late 1800s, African-American cowboys made up nearly 25 percent of all cowboys in the Western Frontier. The FBC passes this legacy on to the inner-city youth through rodeos, school visits and horsemanship trainings.
The video part of Wrangler’s #LifeUnrestricted campaign, tells the stories of living legends and everyday heroes.
In the clip, “Cowboys of New York,” FBC members—dressed in Wrangler, cowboy hats and boots—offer a glimpse into their hybrid cowboy-meets-city lifestyle. Ellis “Mountain Man” Harris shares how after watching the first black rodeo in Harlem in the 1980s, he found a new community interested in the rodeo way of life. The organization’s current president, Kesha Morse, explains how their horses are used to address the hustle and bustle of New York City.
With its own history rooted in rodeo and the cowboy lifestyle, Wrangler said it “immediately felt connected to this story, and wanted to share it with a wider audience, in the hopes of helping keep the cowboy way of life alive.”
In 2016, the FBC lost its stables in Queens and the ability to host youth programs at the same capacity. Wrangler said the group’s goal is to find a home to have more horses, recruit more members and keep the legacy alive for the next generation.
“With many members aging out of the organization, the FBC hopes to continue their programs and recruit younger members so the western way of life can be preserved and passed down,” Wrangler wrote on its website.