Celebrating Wyoming’s Diversity During Black History Month [VIDEO]
Eighteen years ago I came to Wyoming a young man with no idea what awaited my wife, daughter and myself.
I was asked by many friends, "you know there's nothing there but white people, right?" These were Caucasians asking such ridiculous things of me. Oh, yes I was aware that 'brothers' don't do the cold, not voluntarily anyway. I grew up in sixties Alabama, there's not much I haven't seen, heard or been subjected to.
With that in mind, as I ran across the story of George A. Jordan, a black cowboy, who found his way to Albany County, Wyoming in the 1880's. Wonder how he felt? There couldn't have been many men of color around at that time. Just a personal observation.
Jordan, obviously had no major issues as he was able to settle what became the Jordan Creek Area. He built structures on his homestead in the coming years, which I say are a testament to his skill and work ethic.
These buildings were still standing in 1994. Any man that has built in Wyoming can tell you, "a structure built at that time and stood almost one hundred years, was skillfully done to withstand the Wyoming wind for that length of time." Amen!
Jordan lived and worked his property for fifty years before failing health caused his retirement. Jordan at this time moved to Rock River, Wyoming in the 1940's. He passed away in 1949 in Laramie, Wyoming.
This story to me, tells of the Wyoming I found eighteen years ago. Wyomingites don't care where you come from, as long as you take care of and mind your own business. George A. Jordan obviously found the same type of welcome in his journey. People are people. Good, bad and indifference in us all.
You can find more information on George A. Jordan through the John Ravage papers. Ravage wrote extensively about the black cowboys and black settlers of the United States and Canada.
Black History Month has been criticized as another issue that divides in this country.
Actually, Morgan Freeman described it perfectly in an interview with CBS.