West Oakland Cowboys, 2013

Those who know me understand that I adore studying the history of West Oakland and it’s evolution since the mid-1800s US western expansion. Abandoned railroad tracks and their accessories still exist in the neighborhood, although long out of use. Phantom calls signal trains that won’t be coming. A crumbled building is what remains of the grand terminus of the trans continental railroad line. On a typical sunny afternoon, I headed out to the Oakland Black Cowboy Parade - the only parade and celebration of its kind in the United States. For over a quarter century, the Black Cowboy Parade, held in memory of the black cowboys that helped to settle the American West has been an annual event in Oakland, California.

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