The world of cowboys and cowgirls in the pop culture imagination seem to largely belong to White people, but that is a false narrative, according to the The Cowgirls of Color. “Once we started getting more visible, we recognized our role in the community to challenge and inspire women and little girls by doing what we love to do,” Kisha “KB” Bowles, one of four women who make up the group, told The Washington Post.
The Cowgirls of Color was formed in 2016 by four Black women from the Maryland and Virginia area—Bowles, Selina “Pennie” Brown, Sandra “Pinky” Dorsey and Brittaney “Britt Brat” Logan. They are trying to change the perspective of who gets to compete in rodeos and equestrian sports. “When most people think or hear the term ‘rodeo’ they may picture a male or cowboy dominated sport typically held in the southwestern region of the United States,” reads the group’s website. “They may picture females or cowgirls as well but all within the Caucasian community. Few people think of African American females from Maryland and Virginia.”
While Dorsey confirmed with The Post that they are not the first Black cowgirls or relay team, their site says that they are the “first all-Black, all-female rodeo team to participate in the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo,” with a goal “to promote a sisterhood among all women of color, young adults and children.”
“I want kids to see me, a Black woman riding a horse,” Brown said. “If for nothing else, than to give them the confidence in knowing they can do anything they set their minds to.”