When cowboys come to mind, they may be real-life people turned legends — Billy the Kid, or Wyatt Earp, or Annie Oakley, let’s say. Or they may be fictional — Hopalong Cassidy, or the Marlboro Man, or one of many roles featuring John Wayne.
All of these cowboys are white. And that overlooks history: there were also black cowboys, and they played an important role in the American West.
Musician Dom Flemons has been thinking a lot about those cowboys, and his forthcoming album features their songs. Flemons joins us from the studios of WBEZ Radio in Chicago.