Bass Reeves, first black U.S. deputy marshal in the Indian territories, working under “Hanging Judge” Isaac Parker.
It’s from my mom that I got my love of western movies and film. An avid viewer of “shootemups” in all forms, she’d captivate me with her knowledge of stars from movie serials she’d seen as a young girl; the
same shorts that were making the rerun rounds on television. But it was my dad who filled out the untold story of the black cowboy for me.
Like any child, I wondered about who I was, who we were in reference to what I saw on tv as the depictions of blacks, any type of black people, was very limited at the time. From him, I first heard about Nat Love, a quintessential cowboy figure, and Bill Pickett, the inventor of bulldogging, a version of modern rodeo steer wrestling.
I thought about that and both of them listening to a commercial on MeTv for their Saturday western roundup; an entire day of programming. And since I now know that 1 in 4 American cowboys were black, I couldn’t help but marvel at the slick and subtle manner in which you can not only eradicate the accomplishments of an entire group of people but at the same time reinforce that extinction at the societal level . Continue reading
Since the murder of George Floyd, the country’s undergone a significant change. Massive, diverse protests have filled the streets in America and globally, calling for an end to police brutality and racism in all its forms.
May 31, a George Floyd protest in Cardiff Wales. Photo by Matthew Horwood, Getty Images
Shrines to a bigoted, uneven, and in some cases, patently false history are being torn down. National monuments are coming under fire about their true antiquity while sports teams are having to rethink the significance of their logos, names and mascots.
Seven Sports Teams Who’ve Changed their Names due to Racist Origins
Outwardly, people are finally examining what it means to be a black person or minority in America. And in many cases, that degree of introspection is visibly painful. Nevertheless, it’s occurring, despite Trump attempts to label #BLM a terrorist organization. Still, if meaningful police reform was and still is the goal of all this then the goal is visibly slipping away. Can it be reclaimed? Can we continue to harness, and more importantly nourish, this positive sway of worldwide solidarity we’ve been experiencing? The short answer is yes but we have to start chewing our food better. Continue reading
The title should be something fundamental; understood, appreciated and upheld by everyone. That’s because the statement stems from America’s much-touted, storied past, when the written rule of law was practically non-existent, yet there nevertheless was a tangible, un-written code of conduct that those rugged early citizens attempted to live by.
Arizona State Senate candidate Bobby Wilson shot and killed his mother in 1963
This code came about not through happenstance but rather because of the nature of the human condition, man versus man. It was his earliest attempts to control his baser instincts, drives and natures that surely would’ve rode us to extinction by now, had it not been for the code. Today, it’s heralded mostly in pulp fiction and lore but truly, it still exists, or should exist, in the psyche of modern-day man. I’m talking about the code of the west. Continue reading
Let’s be clear; by “America” I mean, white America, unfortunately. Continue reading
I read the account of the beating of Bakari Henderson and the first thing I thought of was Poland, so eager to wave the Confederate flag in honor of Trump’s arrival. I wondered at the time if they recognized the significance of what they were doing. Did they understand that many would see it as though the Polish Right were telling a segment of the American extremist Right, yeah, we know what you wanted to do and together, we’ll take it as far as you want it to go? None in the Republican Party found that too troubling. Continue reading