The Forgotten Cowboys: Photographs that celebrate the history of black cowboys in America

The Forgotten Cowboys © John Ferguson

John Ferguson's series, The Forgotten Cowboys, began in New York City when he was watching a group of African-American horseman dressed as cowboys parading through Times Square.

"I needed to find out more," the London photographer told Creative Boom. "So a decade later, I set off on my first of two road trips around the Southern States of America in search of a community that many of us were unaware that existed. The history and the individuals within this fascinating community and the culture of the 'black cowboys' is a creative project that I want to share with the world."

Alongside his images, John created a documentary with Greg MacDonald and also has a dedicated Instagram account for the series.

He continues: "For a young black English kid growing up in London in the 1970s, cowboys were my greatest screen heroes, from John Wayne to Clint Eastwood to a host of others. But not one single black cowboy was amongst them. I never even knew black cowboys existed. So imagine my amazement when on a work assignment for my UK newspaper in 2001, I came across a group of black cowboys parading through New York City."

John Ferguson has been a professional editorial photographer based in London and working internationally for over twenty years. He transitioned to more commercial photography work in 2014. He adds: "During my time in London's Fleet Street, I managed to cover many different assignments from features stories all over the world, to the conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Balkans. I also covered natural distastes such as the Tsunami, Hurricane Katrina to earthquakes."

John has also worked with many of the world's leading NGOs from Save the Children, UNICEF, Christian Aid to The VSO and Oxfam, producing visual content for their websites and campaigns plus editorial pieces around the world.

He concludes: "With the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement, I think the importance of projects like these really help to celebrate the black community and its heritage in a positive and entertaining way."

The Forgotten Cowboys © John Ferguson

The Forgotten Cowboys © John Ferguson

The Forgotten Cowboys © John Ferguson

The Forgotten Cowboys © John Ferguson

The Forgotten Cowboys © John Ferguson

The Forgotten Cowboys © John Ferguson

Chester - The Forgotten Cowboys © John Ferguson

Chester - The Forgotten Cowboys © John Ferguson

The Forgotten Cowboys © John Ferguson

The Forgotten Cowboys © John Ferguson

The Forgotten Cowboys © John Ferguson

The Forgotten Cowboys © John Ferguson

Jason Griffin – The Forgotten Cowboys © John Ferguson

Jason Griffin – The Forgotten Cowboys © John Ferguson

The Forgotten Cowboys © John Ferguson

The Forgotten Cowboys © John Ferguson

The Forgotten Cowboys © John Ferguson

The Forgotten Cowboys © John Ferguson