From ranches to railroads, learn about the often unrecognized role that African Americans played in the range cattle industry, as Pullman porters and in law enforcement. In part two of this special series, Grammy Award-winner Dom Flemons takes us on a musical exploration of the American West after emancipation. “The American Songster” joins historian Charles L. Hughes to discuss the complexity of his sounds, songs and stories about the Jim Crow era.
Dom Flemons shares even more songs in this 2020 online concert “Black Cowboy Songs and More from the American Songster” from the Library of Congress American Folklife Center. (He has been researching in their archives for over a decade. Your students can use their collections too!)
Read Rolling Stone’s interview with Dom—‘Old Town Road’ and the History of Black Cowboys in America—about the growing interest in mainstream entertainment.
Remember CDs and Vinyl? The physical copies of Black Cowboys from Smithsonian Folkways come with 40 pages of liner notes! They're full of photos and historical information (Want to see? Read to the end this article.)
And for even more helpful classroom resources, check out the enhanced full transcript of this episode.
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