Michael Searles is a professor emeritus of history at Augusta University. Known to the Augusta community as Cowboy Mike, Searles strives to educate audiences on the Western experiences of black cowboys. Although he is usually dressed in his signature cowboy hat, it’s not uncommon to see Searles wearing boots, spurs or other cowboy attire. Searles retired from the university in 2012 after a 20-year teaching career. He now writes a weekly column for The True Citizen, a Georgia newspaper serving Waynesboro and Burke County.