Oakland Black Cowboy Association revives forgotten memories of the American West

on November 5, 2009

Oakland resident Wilbert McAlister grew up watching Westerns at the movie theater in his rural hometown of Madera, Calif.  For years he reveled in the exploits of white heroes, but as an adult he began to ask himself why none of the actors resembled him or his ancestors, who were ranchers in Oklahoma.  As he explained to Oakland North, this question of identity led him to become president of the Oakland Black Cowboy Association, which keeps East Bay residents connected with rural traditions and a forgotten part of American history.

This year, the organization held its 35th annual parade and festival at DeFremery Park in West Oakland.

Photo by Basil D Soufi
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