On the occasion of the release of The Harder They Fall, we wonder about the representation of black cowboys in Hollywood westerns. How were they represented? What are the most iconic films? Response from experts.
Forgotten from history books and under-represented in Hollywood, black cowboys have long had it tough. However, they were involved in the conquest of the West. And historians consider them to be about 25% of the cowboy population.
The release on Netflix of the western The Harder They Fall, by Jeymes Samuel with Idris Elba, Regina King and Jonathan Majors, represents an event in itself because it is the first big production of a film intended for the general public with an almost entirely cast. black. This is therefore a good opportunity to take stock of this thorny question.
To better understand the presence – or rather the absence – of black cowboys in Hollywood and the way they were staged, DashFUN spoke with Frédéric mercier, film critic at Transfuge, Positif and Le Cercle Cinéma on Canal + and Francois Durpaire, historian specializing in the United States.
Both share their views on this little-known part of history and the history of cinema.
Interview by Emilie Semiramoth – Editing: Constance Matthews