Skip to the content

The Chronicle of African Americans in the Horse Industry

Civil War soldier, ca. 1860, Rick Carlile Collection

Welcome to the Chronicle! Please join us on this journey of discovery. Funded by a grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services, and housed at the International Museum of the Horse, the Chronicle of African Americans in the Horse Industry will build on information discovered while creating the exhibit Black Horsemen of the Kentucky Turf.

Meet the Chronicle

The history of the horse industry in America cannot be separated from African American history. From slavery to agriculture to professional sports, one could say that the entire equine industry has been built on the backs of African Americans. Recognition of individuals and their contributions and achievements is long overdue. The memory holders are fading away and it is critical to document their experiences and knowledge before it is too late.

The goal of the Chronicle of African Americans in the Horse Industry is to create an online, interactive archive to house and display photos, documents, artifacts, and oral histories of African Americans who have worked, and continue to work in equine industries. Its users will be able to connect the past to the present. 

It is our intention to engage a diverse audience of people and communities to provide valuable input relating to the Chronicle. This will help us create a resource that is valued and useful and will include:

  • Descendants and African Americans currently working in the horse industry will be able to explore the past and connect history to modern experiences. The perspective of descendants will steer the development of the website, with a dedication to preserving their heritage with the utmost respect. We invite them to add their own voice to the Chronicle.
  • Historical institutions, genealogists, and libraries will integrate their collections and gain ease of access to use documents for their own interpretive purposes. We invite them to link their collections to the Chronicle.
  • Students and teachers will gain a better understanding of African American history and its connections to local places and events related to the horse industry. We invite them to provide feedback on use of the Chronicle.
  • College students and professors will engage with primary documents and related content, learn the importance of metadata, and build the Chronicle by entering information. We invite them to help assemble the Chronicle.

If you have a connection to African Americans in the horse industry or would like to be involved in the development of the Chronicle, please email [email protected] or call 859-259-4279.

This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.