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Who knew a white fence was all it would take to separate the urban jungle from the western frontier? In Queens, New York, that fence also plays a huge role in separating the grim statistics from the success stories of our youth. CNN.com reports that the Federation of Black Cowboys, founded in 1994, has called Cedar Lane horse ranch in Queens their home since 1998.
Besides finding refuge from the sometimes wild, wild west antics of their crime-ridden hoods, it is here that our young boys and girls learn about horse riding and care, Black cowboy history, and life. “Keeping youngsters away from gangs, guns and drugs is a top priority,” says Federation President Stencil “Doctor D” Stokes. So far, thousands of kids have benefited from their unique approach. These brief escapes from their bleak surroundings are just enough to make a big difference in attitude and outlook.–Marcia Caster