PHOTOS BY Lindsey Long Photography
Rallying around their motto: Streets Raised Us. Horses Saved Us, the Compton Cowboys, a riding club initiated by childhood friends in Compton, California, recognized early on the positive power of horses and equestrian culture.
Their mission to dispel the negative stereotypes about African-Americans and the assumptions that most of Los Angeles’s Compton kids were involved in gang activity has been ongoing. “We’ve always wanted to give people a different side of Compton besides gangster rap and basketball,” Leighton BeReal, a member of the group, told the New York Times. See Equestrian Living magazine’s 2018 feature on the Compton Cowboys here.
Most of the young cowboys, known as the Compton Junior Posse (now the Compton Junior Equestrians), were encouraged by family or friends to get involved with horses to escape a life of violence. As thriving adults, they continue to embrace the organization’s mission of keeping kids on horses and off the streets.
The celebrated Compton Cowboys were highly visible as they mounted their horses and joined thousands of peaceful protesters in the June 7th Compton, California, Peace Ride.
Equine photographer, Lindsey Long, beautifully captured the significance and passion of the Cowboys’ participation and the magnitude of the Black Lives Matter movement.