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For Black cowboys – from inner-city Philly to small-town Texas – horses and riding are a way of life

By Nick Lehr, Arts + Culture Editor
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Photographer Ron Tarver grew up in Fort Gibson, a small town in Oklahoma where horses, cattle and Wrangler jeans were embedded into the rhythms of everyday life. His grandfather was a cowboy admired for his roping abilities, and many of his family members owned ranches in the area.

But he wanted, he told me, “to get away from horses,” and in 1983, he landed a job as a staff photojournalist at the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he found himself drawn to a range of subjects, from storefront…


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