Last week, our Canadian friend Hank Hofmann sent me a link to a Globe and Mail article, “Black Cowboys Rare? That’s Hollywood Whiteout.”
I’m not much of a fan of “Black History Month” or “Women’s History Month” (see an earlier column which features a video of Morgan Freeman making a case against BHM), but I’ll admit this practice may have helped all of us learn more about our collective history as we move from lopsided storytelling to hearing the voices of people from all walks of life, all ethnic groups and both genders.
Here’s an example of how things are changing, albeit slowly. You might actually know who Tenzing Norgay was. Well, maybe. But for sure you know who Edmund Hillary was. The fact is that both of them were the first to summit Mt. Everest, but in our telling of the story in the decades after the 1953 ascent, who knew Norgay’s name outside of Nepal?
I don’t want to beat a dead horse (no pun intended), but if you want to find out more about the history of African-Americans on the cowboy landscape, you may want to start with the Federation of Black Cowboys — no kidding. And it’s based in Queens, NY!
In recent decades, as I said, more of our hidden history is coming to light–and the internet has helped. Tell me about what you’ve discovered, or share a link.