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Ron Tarver comes from a family of African American cowboys. He grew up in Fort Gibson, a small agricultural community in rural northeastern Oklahoma. His grandfather, a member of the Black Freedman of the Cherokee Tribe, was a working cowboy during the 1940s, and Tarver spent many long, hot summer days hauling hay and working on local farms and ranches, occasionally rounding up stray cows. Tarver has distinguished himself in the field of fine-art photography. In 2021, he was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, in Creative Arts Photography and he has been in more than thirty solo and eighty group exhibitions. His photographs are also in numerous collections, including the National Museum of American Art of the Smithsonian Institution, Oklahoma History Center, Philadelphia Museum of Art, State Museum of Pennsylvania, and Studio Museum in Harlem. As a long-time staff photographer for The Philadelphia Inquirer, he shared the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for his work on a series documenting school violence in the Philadelphia public school system, was nominated for three additional Pulitzers, and was honored with awards from World Press Photos and the Sigma Delta Chi Award of the Society of Professional Journalists. Tarver is currently Associate Professor of Art at Swarthmore College. He is co-author, with journalist Yvonne Latty, of We Were There: Voices of African-American Veteran from World War II to the War in Iraq (Harper Collins, 2004), which was accompanied by a traveling exhibition that debuted at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.

About the Contributor
Art T. Burton retired in 2015 after spending thirty-eight years in higher education as a professor of history at Prairie State College and South Suburban College and as an administrator in African-American Student Affairs at Benedictine University, Loyola University Chicago and Columbia College Chicago. He is the author of several groundbreaking books on African-American history in the West, most recently Cherokee Bill: Black Cowboy-Indian Outlaw (Eakins Press, 2020) and Black Gun, Silver Star: The Life and Legend of Frontier Marshal Bass Reeves (Bison Books, 2022).


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