Unpacking the Complicated History of the Black Cowboy

Historians estimate that around 1 in 4 cowboys were Black.

Joshua Adams
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Collage made from photos of Deputy U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves, Courtesy Art T. Burton; actor Idris Elba in the film “Concrete Cowboys; Brianna Noble, photo by Noah Berger

When most of think of a cowboy, we tend to think of slick-talking, sharpshooting white man with cowboy hat and leather boots. In the U.S., it’s a tall task to grow up without seeing at least one western film or tv show with this archetype. But the term “cowboy” was what Black…

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Joshua Adams
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Joshua Adams is a writer from Chicago. UVA & USC. Assistant Professor at Columbia College Chicago. Twitter: @ProfJoshuaA