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The Long, Endangered Legacy of Compton's Cowboys

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Compton has a rich agricultural history dating back to at least the late 1880s, and it still has farmland today, so it shouldn't be surprising that Compton has cowboys. (But it is.) An in-the-works documentary (seen on LAObserved) is now seeking funding on Kickstarter, hoping to tell the story of Compton's long-running cowboy traditions, with a focus on the obstacles stacked against this thinning herd of devoted, modern-day riders, and about the black cowboys who are "a foundational yet overlooked part of Los Angeles' history."

Dating all the way back to the time of "California's Old West" and continuing today, Compton's cowboys have been a little-seen and much underrepresented segment of the city's population. (The city actually has an entire agricultural district called Richland Farms.) Though "Decades of crime, industrialization, and development have squeezed out most of the cowboys," the doc's summary explains, those who remain are fighting hard to maintain their gang intervention efforts, keep their small, tight community together, and rebuild their stables (known as The Hill), which mysteriously burned down in 2012.

The documentary is only about one-third funded; it has until March 21 to meet its goal.

Fire on the Hill Teaser 2015 from Brett Fallentine on Vimeo.

· Fire on the Hill: The Story of the Compton Cowboys [Kickstarter]