Episode 13 – We Were The Music – Eunice Taylor Cicero
Eunice Taylor Cicero is a former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader. Eunice cheered for the Cowboys back in 1965, when she was still in high school, as one of the team’s very first black cheerleaders. She was a pioneer for the squad, and in a larger way, for the NFL, though to hear her tell it, back then that was just the way things were. Though the squad’s since evolved and changed direction to a different kind of cheerleading, Euince’s tenacity and confidence paved the way for generations of cheerleaders to come. Her story is full of life, love, and a sense of compassion that only comes from a life of adversity, and some quality parenting too.
Eunice’s story begins in the ‘60s, when she was growing up in South Dallas. Back then things were different of course, but for Eunice, things never felt out of place. Fact was, she had a great set of parents, and they made sure their daughter passed on the love they had for her wherever she went. Eunice’s mother was a teacher, and her uncle a Principal, so on top of an expectation of academic success (and a few ‘teacher’s pet’ jeers from her fellow classmates), you can bet she had to be in a couple of extracurriculars too. Which of course, led her to cheerleading.
But for Eunice, just being a part of the squad wasn’t enough. She quickly worked her way up to become the Captain of the squad, which put her in a perfect position to try out for a new initiative the local football team “The Dallas Cowboys” had put together seeking high-school cheerleaders for their cheerleading team. And fortunately, her hard work paid off, and she landed the gig, becoming one of the first two black cheerleaders in Cowboys history – after she managed to find herself a male partner, of course. Between juggling grades, spinning local games, and flipping through NFL cheers, Eunice had more than enough on her plate. So it hardly came as a surprise when come graduation, she was more than ready to get as far away as she could.
But that freedom can be suffocating, especially at an out-of-state college away from Mom and Dad, and after a couple of years at Arizona State, she landed a gig as one of only three black flight attendants on American Airlines – a prestigious position in the early ‘70’s, and one she didn’t take lightly, and neither did the rest of the world. And it’s right there, flying between America’s finest as a pioneer in a new field, that Eunice Taylor Cicero may just have discovered who she really was, where she really came from, and who she was always really meant to be.
Guests featured on today’s episode include:
Dee Brock, Former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleading Manager/Director
Show Notes & Links:
Wow, 1965? Are there any photos of the squad from back then? Here’s an article from the Cowboys featuring photos from the first decade of Cowboys Cheer. Look closely at ’65, and you may just find a photo of a young Eunice Taylor!
- How about video? Here’s a featurette about the history of the Cowboys Cheerleaders, featuring our very own Dr. Dee Brock.
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