Sammy Davis Jr.s’ dream of playing a Western Hero/Cowboy was likely greatly lessened by the false belief that there were no Black cowboys in the Old West.
But there were. Plenty. Just not in the cinema.
Cowboy Nat Love – (Deadwood Dick)
Garry yearned to be one of those guys 🙂 That, or Cary Grant.
Did Cary make Westerns? (joke) Many of us kids had that dream,
Researchers say that between 1/4 and 1/3 of Cowboys in the Old West were Black or Mexican Vaqueros. That’s quite a few.
I talk about Nat Love in class. He was born in Nashville.
Thanks Rick, I did not know that. I plan to post a small profile on Nat.
I’d like to read the ‘Black West’. Poor Sammy. What a pity Hollywood didn’t create a script showing the estimated 5,000 black cowboys. First time I saw one in film was Blazing Saddles and thought it looked odd.
One of the first depictions of Blacks in a Western that portrayed them in a dignified manner was Sergeant Rutledge (1960) starring Woody Strode. Caused a bit of a stir of that time. Haven’t seen the film in years and am wondering if it still stands up? Will have to have a look.
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