“Where have All the Black Cowboys gone?”

At The Guardian, Anne Billson writes about the history of cowboys, Westerns, the erasure of Black cowboys and the re-writing of Black cowboys and lawmen as white. “After the American civil war, a life in the saddle offered unprecedented freedom to former slaves, while the teamwork required for cattle drives provided a measure of equality on the trail. When cattle drives were phased out by the use of the railroad, black cowboys, as well as white ones, found employment in travelling rodeos and wild west shows. In the old west, one in four cowboys was black, but you’d never guess it to look at Hollywood westerns.”

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