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Commemorating Black History Month

Commemorating Black History Month

Saluting the Thousands of Black Cowboys Who Tamed America’s West

As many as one quarter of America’s cowboys were Black, according to Historian Kenneth Porter.  The Library of Congress attributes many western songs to Blacks, and the first recording of “Home on the Range” was performed by a Black saloon keeper and former cowboy.

Many Black men had developed skills while property of slave owners; in some rodeos, Whites could win awards from the performances of their Black slaves.  After the Civil War, property ownership restrictions in many southern states encouraged former slaves and their descendants to travel west and ply their trades there.

The USPS “Legends of the West” pane of 20 stamps features 2 Blacks (3 if one counts the Ben Pickett error) among those commemorated. Today, Bill Pickett, one of the 20 commemorated, is honored at an invitational rodeo bearing his name.

The image included here is from the USPS postal card commemorating Bill Pickett.

What Is Cognitive Behavior Therapy?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a type of treatment that is based firmly on research findings.  It places emphasis on changing your cognitions (thoughts) or behaviors (actions) in order to effect change in how you feel. These approaches help people in achieving specific changes or goals.

Changes or goals might involve:

A way of acting: like smoking less or being more outgoing;
A way of feeling: like helping a person to be less scared, less depressed, or less anxious;
A way of thinking: like learning to problem-solve or get rid of self-defeating thoughts;
A way of dealing with physical or medical problems: like reducing back pain or helping a person stick to a doctor’s suggestions.

Cognitive behavioral therapists usually focus more on the current situation and its solution, rather than the past. They concentrate on a person’s views and beliefs about their life. CBT is an effective treatment for individuals, parents, children, couples, and families. The goal of CBT is to help people improve and gain more control over their lives by changing behaviors that don’t work well to ones that do.

How to Get Help

If you are looking for help, either for yourself or someone else, you may be tempted to call someone who advertises in a local publication or who comes up from a search of the Internet. You may, or may not, find a competent therapist in this manner. It is wise to check on the credentials of a psychotherapist. It is expected that competent therapists hold advanced academic degrees. They should be listed as members of professional organizations, such as the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies or the American Psychological Association. Of course, they should be licensed to practice in your state. You can find competent specialists who are affiliated with local universities or mental health facilities or who are listed on the websites of professional organizations. You may, of course, visit our website ( and click on “Find a CBT Therapist”

The Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) is an interdisciplinary organization committed to the advancement of a scientific approach to the understanding and amelioration of problems of the human condition. These aims are achieved through the investigation and application of behavioral, cognitive, and other evidence-based principles to assessment, prevention, and treatment.

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