Chisholm Kid - Pioneering Black Comic Book Character

The Chisholm Kid

ITC showcases trailblazing Black comic book character, legacy of the Chisholm Trail



(SAN ANTONIO) – It’s been 150 years since the cattle drives along the Chisholm Trail began. The cattle drive from Texas to the railhead in Kansas was one way many newly freed slaves made a living after the Civil War, with some 5,000 to 9,000 Black cowboys working the Chisholm Trail.

To celebrate this history, the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures will welcome "The Chisholm Kid," a traveling exhibit from the Museum of UnCut Funk, with additional content on the historic Chisholm Trail from the Texas Historical Commission.

The Chisholm Kid appeared from 1950 to 1954 in the Pittsburgh Courier, a storied black newspaper. In its pages, this Golden Age hero was portrayed as a positive black character equal to contemporaries including Buck Rogers, Dick Tracy, Flash Gordon and Hopalong Cassidy.

"This Chisholm Kid was a made up character inspired by the historic Chisholm Trail and the very real history of African American cowboys, said Sarah Gould, lead curatorial researcher at the institute, "but he was more than just another cowboy during the cowboy craze of the 1950s. He was a figure that fought for racial justice at a time when it was in short supply,"

Known as the "Lone Fighter for Justice for All," the namesake hero was an homage to Black cowboys and a nod to ongoing struggles for equality in the 1950s.

"Popular culture, like comics, is often a mirror of what’s happening in society," said Gould. "The Chisholm Kid combines Texas’ cattle industry history with African American history and a long history of struggles for equality."

The exhibit includes panels from the original comic strip and supplemental materials from the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures and Texas Historical Commission, including an overview on the history of the trail and its enduring impact on Texas. Visitors will learn about the people who worked the trail and how to explore sites along the trail today.

The Institute of Texan Cultures is located on the UTSA Hemisfair Campus, 801 E. César E. Chávez Blvd., a short distance from the Alamo and the River Walk. Regular hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Saturday; noon-5 p.m. Sunday.  Admission is $10 for adults (18-64); $8 for seniors (ages 65+) and children (6-17); children 5 and under free; free with membership, UTSA or Alamo Colleges identification. For more information, call 210-458-2300 or visit TexanCultures.com.
 

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