Monday, January 28, 2008

African American History: Did You Know...?

After the Civil War, Texas ranchers began hiring cowboys to drive their large herds of cattle along the Chisholm Trail and other trails leading north to railroad towns.

DID YOU KNOW that many African Americans found jobs as cowboys? They were riding the trails, herding cattle, and breaking in wild horses so that could be ridden. In fact, during the time of the long Texas cattle drives from the 1870s to the 1890s, one out of every five cowboys was an African American.

Cowboys had many important jobs to do. One was to help with the round-up. Round-ups were held once or twice a year. Cowboys rode their horses out from different ranches to gather up all the cattle in their area. The cowboys from the different ranches looked for the cattle that were branded with their own ranch's brand. The brand was a special mark that was put on each cow's back hip.

To make your own brand, gather the following materials:
Paper bowl, cereal size
Poster board
Thick string
Cardboard tube, about 3 feet long, such as from gift wrap
Shallow tray
Construction paper

Use the paper bowl to trace a circle on the poster board and cut it out. Draw a design of your brand on the poster board. Glue string over the design to make it stand out.

Carefully cut an X in the center of the paper bowl. Stick one end of the long carboard tube about 1 inch of the way through the X, gluing it if needed. Glue the poster board brand to the edge of the bowl as shown to complete your brand.

To test your brand, after the glue is dry, carefully dip the brand in a shallow tray of paint and stamp your design on a sheet of construction paper placed on the floor.

-from A Kid's Guide to African American History

Ask the Author:
Attention children, students, teachers, home-schoolers, families, and everyone who loves to read! If there is a question you'd like to ask about my newest book or my life as an author, post your question as a comment on my blog. I will be selecting questions to answer on my blog throughout the upcoming Virtual Book Tour celebrating the release of my newest book, D IS FOR DRINKING GOURD: AN AFRICAN AMERICAN ALPHABET. Mark your calendars to join in the fun! The tour starts February 1, 2008.

1 comment:

Gloria McQueen Stockstill said...

Great information! Thanks, Nancy.