Bass Reeves, the Lone Ranger

I grew up watching Westerns with my dad, and all I ever saw were white men (and the occasional abused Native American/First Nations). However, many blacks who escaped slavery actually went west, and after the civil war, this was even more of an occurrence. The west had a high demand for skilled labor and more personal freedom than the Deep South, so while there was still racism, it provided a better opportunity for black's to gain freedom and income. Despite the representation, 1 out of 4 cowboys were actually black men! In fact, it’s believed that the term cowboy was originally a derogatory term to describe black cow hands. Did I mention that the Lone Ranger might have been based on Bass Reeves, a black man? Those facts make the 2013 version of Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp playing Tonto even more whitewashed than it already is.


  1. Michel Marriott. "Remembrance of Slave Ancestors Lost to the Sea". New York Times. June 19, 1994
  2. Brendan Wolfe. "Slave Ships and the Middle Passage". Encyclopedia Virginia; visited February 2020

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Author Image Author Image I love reading the Word of God. With prayer God's Word reveals so much: from comfort to temperance, from perspective to affirmation. Digging into the depths of the Word, cross-referencing history, language and time differences, is a passion of mine. In March of 2015 I decided to go back through the Bible doing an in depth study on each section I read. Eventually I decided to share my journal of notes as I partake in this journey. I hope you are blessed by God and inspired to pursue a deeper relationship with Him. I love reading and learning about God, nature, and science. I am interested in how it all connects. The Creator's fingerprints are all over his creation. We can learn so much about Him and how we came to be by exploring the world around us. Join me as I explore the world and draw closer to the One who created it all.
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