Segments in this Video

Wild West (02:31)


Bill Pickett invented the sport of bulldogging; Tom Mix and Will Rogers assisted the rodeo star. Van Heflin and Jack Oakie portrayed Bridger and James Beckwourth in "Tomahawk." The cowboy emerged as the American Hero and has usually been depicted as white; African American cowboys numbered in the thousands.

"Little Black Cowboys" (04:47)

Jae Mason pursued country western singing after working on the rodeo circuit. "Tomahawk" portrayed Beckwourth as white. William Loren Katz wrote "The Black West" and "Black People who made the Old West."

Notable Black Cowboys (04:54)

Approximately one-third to one-quarter of cowboys were black men. More freedom and less segregation existed in the West; 25 African American communities were established in Oklahoma between 1890 and 1910. Native Americans accepted frontiersmen into their tribes.

Infantry and Cavalry Dispatched (05:30)

Black soldiers faced more hostility from white settlers than Native Americans. Buffalo soldiers boasted the lowest desertion rate in the frontier army. African Americans received 14 Congressional Medals of Honor, 9 Certificates of Merit, and 29 Honorable Mentions during the Indian Wars.

Notable African Americans (06:35)

Bill Pickett invented the cowboy sport of bulldogging; Tom Mix and Will Rogers assisted the rodeo star. Jim Crow laws followed African Americans into the West. Blacks founded Centralia, Monrovia, Nicodemus, and Allensworth.

Credits: The Black West (00:26)

Credits: The Black West

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The Black West

3-Year Streaming Price: $49.95



“Little Black cowboys need their heroes too,” sings Black country-western singer Jae R. Mason, as part of a movement to recapture the Black presence in the Old West. This program from Tony Brown's Journal highlights the rich history of Black contributions to the settling of America’s western frontier, exposing this legacy through song, rare photos, and film.

Length: 25 minutes

Item#: BVL167341

Copyright date: ©1982

Closed Captioned

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Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.