Popular depictions of the “wild, wild West” in the 19th century usually include images of tumbleweeds, horses, gun fights, and white cowboys depicted by actors like Gary Cooper or John Wayne. That picture, though, isn’t complete. Many historians believe that up to a quarter of cowboys were African-American, and many were formerly enslaved or the descendents of enslaved people.
One person pushing to re-write the historical record is Dom Flemons. He is a Grammy Award-winning music scholar, historian and multi-instrumentalist. His latest album — “Dom Flemons Presents Black Cowboys” — was released in 2018. He joins us to discuss that project, an upcoming concert, and the ongoing legacy of black country traditions.
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