Black Heritage Riders
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Miles Dean- Short Bio

New York To California Trail Rider
Fee: Please contact for more Info
Mr. Dean Commutes from New Jersey



Riding for History      Watch Video

Reported by: Jonathan Wilson, KARK 4 News
Saturday, Dec 22, 2007 @06:25pm CST

Miles In this day and age, there’s no denying that seeing a black man in a cowboy hat, on horseback, is enough to make some people look twice.

That, Miles Dean says, is part of the problem. "My mission is to bring awareness to the role that African-Americans played from the 1600’s to the 1800’s in the settlement of this country," Dean said as he rode down Broadway through North Little Rock on Saturday.

Dean has taught for 22 years in New York City, and is taking a sabbatical to embark on his cross-country horseback ride. He says his journey is meant to call attention to the African-American accomplishments and contributions still left out of history books.

It’s a call for equality in the classrooms that resonated even stronger as Dean rode, accompanied by the Black Cowboys of Arkansas, up to the Little Rock Nine memorial for the first time.

"It’s very emotional, because they represent the continuation of a struggle that began in 1617," he said. Dean calls himself the "AMAAP" -- which stands for "A Modern African-American Pioneer."

It’s a term that could easily be applied to the Little Rock Nine, but it’s one that Dean says is too seldomly applied to African-American’s throughout history.

Dean is also keeping a blog of his trip -- offering little known nuggets of history along his path, like, for instance, the role of black marshals in the early settlement of Arkansas and Oklahoma.

"Those black marshals don’t any play," he said. "Nobody talks about them -- Ii’m gonna talk about ’em." Dean hopes to make it to California for Black History Month, in February, but even then, he says, his journey will continue.

"It’s a neverending mission that I’m on," he said.

Dean is paying for most of his trip out of his own pocket -- and says he isn’t looking for any corporate sponsorships. He is however, taking donations. You can contribute at his website by clicking here.