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Shirley Rhodes shares the memories of Black cowboys in the Coastal Bend

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Posted at 10:22 AM, Feb 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-28 14:05:45-05

One woman is dedicating her time to share the story of Black cowboys and their impact on ranching culture during the early 1900 on the Coastal Bend.

Shirley Rhodes is making it her mission to share the history of 16 Black cowboys from the Woodsboro and Refugio areas, all of them leaders during a tense period in the South.

Rhodes said she knew eight of them, one in particular, her father S.W. “Tony” Lott.

“We don’t pay attention to our heritage, and there is a lot of heritage. You know legacy’s from these men from different walks," said Rhodes.

She said there is more than just these pictures. There is a book called, Crying For Daylight by Louise O’ Connor sharing the memories of a ranching culture in the Coastal Bend.

“It’s the book, not just the Black cowboys but, you know you have the ranches the phantom ranches, the welders ranches, the O’ Connor’s ranches, these are people that are wealthy," said Rhodes.

Rhodes started and ended her tour across the coastal bend at West Haven Baptist church, a place that holds special meaning to her family and the community

“I thank sister Rhodes for this presentation that she has carried across the city of Corpus Christi. I thank her for starting the presentation here at the west haven baptist church where deacon Lott served as a deacon for over 60 years," said Rhodes.

The stories of the Black cowboys is a fundamental piece of Black history Rhodes believes should be passed on to future generations

“We need not to forget where we come from, and the struggle we have done from back then until now and we still are in a struggle," said Rhodes.

The pictures will be placed at Solomon Coles high school in Corpus Christi in the alumna room for viewing.