Hoo-Doo Cowboys and Bronze BuckaroosConceptions of the African American West

Hoo-Doo Cowboys and Bronze BuckaroosConceptions of the African American West

Michael K. Johnson

Print publication date: 2014

ISBN: 9781617039287

Publisher: University Press of Mississippi

Abstract

Hoo-Doo Cowboys and Bronze Buckaroos undertakes an interdisciplinary exploration of the African American West through close readings of select texts from a variety of media. This approach allows for both an in-depth analysis of individual texts and a discussion of material often left out or under-represented in studies focused only on traditional literary material: heretofore unexamined writing by Rose Gordon, who wrote for local western publications rather than for a national audience; memoirs and letters of musicians, performers, and singers (such as W. C. Handy) who lived in or wrote about touring the American West; Percival Everett’s fiction addressing contemporary black western experience; the novels and films of Oscar Micheaux; black-cast westerns starring Herb Jeffries; largely unappreciated and unexamined episodes from the “golden age of western television” that feature African American actors; film and television westerns that use science fiction settings to imagine a “post-racial” or “post-soul” frontier. Despite recent interest in the history of the African American West, we know very little about how the African American past in the West has been depicted in a full range of imaginative forms. Hoo-Doo Cowboys and Bronze Buckaroos takes us another step further in the journey of discovering how the African American West has been experienced, imagined, and performed.