Randy Savvy Interview
A conversation with the founder of the Compton Cowboys, who use horseback riding and equestrian culture to provide a positive influence on inner-city youth and combat negative stereotypes in the city of Compton.
Mezcal es amig@s is a series that brings together artists, activists, and voices of change.
In this episode, Randy Savvy – leader and founder of the venerable Compton Cowboys, as well as community activist, entrepreneur, and musical artist – joins Ilegal Global Brand Ambassador Gilbert Marquez for a candid conversation about the history of Richland Farms and the Compton Cowboys, the work they are doing for underprivileged youth in their community, changing the face and perception of the American Cowboy, and Randy’s mission and goals for the future.
Part of the Cowboys’ greater mission is combating the stereotypes of what it means to be Black in America – fighting whitewashing and anti-blackness that has been so pervasive in media and culture. The image that most of us have of the American cowboy is part of the narrative created by Hollywood, a story Randy wishes to deconstruct: “I actually grew up seeing Black cowboys first... that’s why I go so hard with our platform and we take it so seriously – we have to show people the other side.” He goes on to share – “...cowboying comes from the ethnic communities of the world because we were the slaves, we were the ranch hands, we were the ‘boys’ – ‘Go get that cow, boy...’ that’s where it really comes from.”
“We feel connected to that lineage and that inspires us even more to go-in and go-hard in what we’re doing because we feel connected to the culture and the traditions. And that’s part of our mission and movement – it’s about not only showing our faces and showing our skin color and showing our culture, but also evoking that spirit of history.” Randy saw an opportunity to initiate meaningful change, and the crew has grown to become a vehicle to not only reclaim history (that of thousands of cowboys of color left out of the American story) but also to influence the next generation, instilling positive messaging and providing tools to build a productive life.
The Compton Cowboys’ youth program, Compton Junior Equestrians, was developed to serve inner city youth in the hub city of Compton, along with local areas. The non-profit was formed in response to the lack of programs available to youth in the community who are at risk for dropping out of school, incarceration, and poverty. CJE envisions a community where students are achieving and thriving in academics, community building, and horseback riding.
HOW TO SUPPORT
Buy Ilegal x Not For Them merch here – all profits benefit the Compton Cowboys / Compton Junior Equestrians
Watch our original Ilegal Mezcal x Compton Cowboys video here