September 2004

Mark Myers & Sandra Myers

Promoters of African-American Cowboy Culture

Mark and Sandra Myers, founders of The Black Cowboy: Man or Myth African American Cultural Festival, are native South Carolinians. Decendants of African American farmers and sharecroppers. they bought Rembert acreage formerly sharecropped by Sandra’s Family. Mark sold their family home  in Horatio in order to fulfill his lifelong goal, which was accomplished in 1991 with the purchase of the aforementioned land. The property was named Greenfield Farm, representing the land that they projected as the site where they would build their dream home.

When Mark was at a young age , he was able to pull together his appreciation for strong family ties and spirtuality which resulted in his placing a permium on cowboy values. Inculcated in these values is a love for the outdoors, open space, animals, and nature. Mark began to research and recognize that African American cowboys existed, many of whom roamed the land of Texas and cattle farms in the west. This led to thirst for the acquisition and dissemination of more knowledge about cowboys who were descendants of slaves in the United States and sought a better life for themselves.

Mark and Sandra  place a high premium on taking care of their farm and their animals. With several horses and cattle there is enough work for both of them, including growing hay and providing horse riding lessons. They are committed to offering outreach activities to the community such as helping children with projects in 4-H Club, Agriculture, and providing day retreats for children, adults, and those with disabilities and special needs.

The farm is also available for Family reunions and other day retreat activities. They also operate a Carriage Service for Weddings and special occasions. The inspiration for organizing an African American Cowboy Festival emerged from the realization that children in the Greenfield Farm community had never seen a black family with horses. Thus, the festival has come to be a source for all people to understand the life and times of African American Cowboys. For several years Mark and Sandra have provided this festival experience and have provided an opportunity for attendees to research another aspect of the rich culture and history of African American heritage. They have even expanded the breadth of the festival to include an essay writing contest for children.

Appealing to South Carolinians and others throughout the Southeast, this couple has even formed a non-profit organization (The Black Cultural Enlightenment Society) to plan and help to sponsor the festival and other activities offered. Mark and Sandra are the proud parents of three sons- Kelvin, Mark jr., and Lance. Also father and step mother to two other sons Troy and Enrico. They are also grandparents to four granddaughters- Oceana, Zyariah, Mary Sanija’ and one grandson- K’mon.