“The historical West and the mythological West are two very different things. There is an effacement of people of color that leads people to believe that there were no Black cowboys, when in fact 1 in 4 cowboys in the West was Black. White pioneers coming to the West came to a culture already established by Mexican vaqueros. Most egregious is the treatment of Indigenous people. In the Old West there is this really complicated collision of cultures, but we don’t see that in Westerns.”
School of Theatre, Film & Television instructor Cody Young, son of a Hollywood stuntman who worked with the likes of John Wayne, confronts the problematic legacy of Western films.