News Flash

Rockpile Museum

Posted on: October 1, 2019

“A Tribute to Black Cowboys” Weekend

A Tribute to Black Cowboys Weekend

Rockpile Museum and Rockpile Museum Association “A Tribute to Black Cowboys” Weekend


On Saturday, October 12 and Sunday, October 13 the Campbell County Rockpile Museum and the Rockpile Museum Association will be presenting “A Tribute to Black Cowboys” in Gillette, Wyoming. Currently on display at the Campbell County Rockpile Museum is “Empire: An African American Community on the Wyoming Plains” on loan from the Wyoming State Museum and a new exhibit “Black Cowboys of Campbell County”

On Saturday, October 12th, there will be a special edition of “Black & Yellow Theatre: Voices of the Powder River Basin” at 11am and 2pm at the museum in the Campbell County Room Saddle Exhibit that will feature the story of Campbell County Pioneer, Bunk Haynes.

Saturday evening will feature a special screening of the award-winning documentary “Fire on the Hill: The Cowboys of South Central L.A.” at 7pm at the Rockpile Museum.

Long before it was known for its hip-hop and gang culture, South Central Los Angeles was home to one of the most recognized cowboy communities in the Nation.  Yet after decades of urban development and rising street gang activity, this community--which had produced world champions-- shrunk to all but a one-block horse stable known as “The Hill.”  When a mysterious fire destroys the Hill Stable in 2012, the future of this once thriving culture finds itself at the brink of vanishing forever.

The film follows three cowboys in the wake of the fire.  Ghuan, seeing the fire as an opportunity to resurrect the stable in his own vision must win over the broken cowboy community and hunt down the land’s estranged owner before developers get to it first.  Chris, a rising bull rider from Compton, enters into his rookie year of professional rodeo and discovers that the LA streets aren’t so easy to leave behind.  And Calvin, having found freedom on the back of a horse, must choose between the cowboy lifestyle and his family when his inner demons come back to haunt him.  

FIRE ON THE HILL paints a portrait of the little-known urban cowboy community in South Central LA.  Together, these three stories of perseverance shine a new light on what it means to be a “cowboy” in our modern world.  This genre-bending documentary combines western film style with South Central’s urban landscape to depict Los Angeles like it has never been seen before.   

The weekend will culminate on Sunday, October 13 at 6pm at the Campbell County High School Auditorium, with a special concert provided by the Rockpile Museum Association featuring Grammy Award Winner and Two-Time Emmy Nominee, The American Songster, Dom Flemons in concert as he presents his Smithsonian Folkways album, “Dom Flemons presents Black Cowboys”

Admission to all events are free to the public.

To find out more please contact Museum Educator, Stephan P. Zacharias at SZacharias@ccgov.net

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