For Creative Boom, Ayla Angelos covered Ivan McClellan’s photography of black cowboys in America, from his first encounter with them at a Black rodeo to the present day:
After he visited the black rodeo with Charles, Ivan commenced his documentary practice focusing on black cowboys in America. It’s a subject and event he holds closely; when he attended, he met people who lived just blocks away from his childhood home in Kansas City.
“This knowledge of black cowboys in my hometown transformed my perception of home away from a place of poverty and violence to a place of independence and grit,” he says. “I was determined to share what I’d found and let everyone know that black cowboys exist now, today, in America.” Ivan has now attended dozens of rodeos and visited cowboys at their ranches and farms; he’ll “realistically” be shooting rodeos until he’s 70, he admits.
Black cowboy related: Room Rodeo: a Chicago student’s film about Black cowboys