ROSENBERG, Texas – Larry Callies, owner of the Black Cowboy Museum in Rosenberg hopes to break ground for the Kendleton facility by the end of March.
He says he’s received grants to allow him to move forward as he outgrows his current location in the 1100 block of 3rd Street.
When you walk into the museum, you’ll notice nearly every corner is covered with pictures, posters, and other relics. The museum started as Larry Callies’ project, telling the story of America’s Black cowboy history.
“It’s been hidden. It’s hidden history,” Callies said. “People didn’t want to talk about it.”
The former country singer’s career was cut short when he developed a voice disorder called vocal dysphonia, an ailment that damages the vocal box.
Callies underwent Botox therapy for 27 years just to be able to talk. Now, he speaks to share the untold story of Black cowboys.
Cowboys run in his family. He’s following a long legacy dating back nearly a century.
“I grew up as a Black cowboy in the 1950s,” said Callies. “My dad was a cowboy, his dad was a cowboy, his dad was a cowboy, all my uncles were cowboys.”
Through his own lineage, he decided to open the museum and share what he calls the truth. He says Hollywood unknowingly hid the truth about Black cowboys.
“My uncle always told me that the word cowboy came from slaves, and the white man was called a cowhand,” he said.
Recently, Hollywood has been working to rewrite its wrong, according to Callies.
Netflix released two movies highlighting Black cowboys with ‘The Harder They Fall’ and ‘Concrete Cowboys,’ the latter based on Philadelphia’s real Fletcher Street Urban Riding Club.
“Things are really changing. People are beginning to accept what I’m saying,” Callies said.
As more people begin to accept what he’s known his entire life, Callies is working to expand the museum beyond its current 1,600 sq. ft. facility in Rosenberg. He’s secured grants to help them move out.
“It’s going to be a facility that’s going to be three times as big as this because I have more stuff that’s going to be donated to me,” he explained.