, 4 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
Barely related, gonna take a moment to remind folks their concept of what the "Old West" looked like is primarily basked on exclusionary, white-created media. Texas was a slave state, and 30% of its settler population was black at the end of the Civil War. They became cowboys.
It's estimated a quarter of all cowboys were black overall, because it was rough manual labor, one of the few jobs black men were allowed to do, and many were already trained for it.
There were numerous famous black cowboys, as well, such as Bill Pickett, Nat Love (Aka Deadwood Dick), and lawman Bass Reeves, who has been persuasively argued to be the inspiration for The Lone Ranger.
(Although honestly, my heart will always be with Stagecoach Mary, a 60-something, shotgun-toting mail carrier(!?) who was like "The Postman," but real.)
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