Cow Boy Unchained.


I went to see Django Unchained yesterday with my friends Neena and Anil and we had a great afternoon of movie, pop corn, soft drinks, shopping, tea and some serious problem solving for Anil with his iPad and mobile telephone.

After the dust settled down and I booted up the computer, I posted on FaceBook that I had just seen Django Unchained to keep my well wishers informed that I am on track for doing ‘things’ during 2013. This is all that I said – “Saw Django Unchained earlier this afternoon. Typical Quentin Tarantino effects but a story well told and enacted by all the cast.”

This morning when I opened my mail, I found two alerts as comments on my FB wall. The first was from my irrepressible nephew Jai who said – “I think this is what is called Ramana Unchained.”

Okay so far. Jai will be Jai and I will not have him any other way.

A surprise message came from David which stumped me completely, as I am sure it will most of my readers. This is what David had to say:

“It’s interesting that large numbers of “cowboys” after the civil war were ex slaves…hence the term “cow boy”…yet the average american only knows about white cow boys…. before the civil war the cattle industry relied on slavery to a great extent.

Texas of course viewed itself as a none slave state…when it attained independence from Mexico the Mexicans insisted on no the Texans introduced 99 year indentures (as in indentured servants).

I remember my father telling me about Black cowboys…and today we heard a programme about them on the BBC….
The one I recall hearing about was Nat Love…. he wrote his own biography I believe.”

I could not locate the BBC programme but a little research took me to this clip on YouTube.

Okay, all of you must be wondering what prompts this rather unusual post. I suspect that Tammy would have already known that she would feature in this post and she is right. She inevitably calls me the Cowboy as she remembers my having translated my family name a long time ago. My family name translated into English is King of Cowboys. That is what Krishna was and our name is one of the many that He goes by.

Yes Jai I am now unchained and as you would have noticded, I have been doing many things that I had not been able to the last so many years. I wonder if you too had this cowboy coincidence in mind?

22 thoughts on “Cow Boy Unchained.”

  1. I heard that programme that David talked about, ‘Forgotten Black Cowboys’ presented by Sarfraz Manzoor.

    On his journey through Texas, he finds that the west was populated by both African Americans and Hispanic cowboys, and that their legacy lives on today. He joins a trail ride with black cowboys as they make their way across the dusty plains following the routes of their ancestors. Complete with twelve covered wagons and up to 200 riders on horseback, Sarfraz finds a great pride in this black heritage.

    In Wichita, Kansas, he meets one remarkable performer, the very first actor to appear as a black cowboy in the movies of the 1930s. At a time of racial segregation in the United States, few white cinema goers would ever have heard of Herb Jeffries, but he was the hero in films such as ‘Harlem on the Prairie’. Today Herb Jeffries is about to turn 100.

    Sarfrez visited the National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum in Forth Worth, Texas, with founders Jim Austin and his wife Gloria.

    Shackman or or Mike are the guys who might be able to give us more information.
    Grannymar recently posted..Photographing the Alphabet ~ E (Part Two)

    1. That’s the one… there was also one about Herb Jeffries earlier thatused some of the same interview material. The point about him was that he was actually was born to an Irish mother and an Italian father (he was Umberto Valentino) and he took the part of African Americans in films…with the help of makeup….. reading and all too brief wikipedia entry it seems that he did some benefit work for autism and other charities….
      Now to seek out some ealry jazz recordings if I can find them.
      I hope the reference ot the term cow boy di not puzzle too many people. The Term “boy” was applied disparagingly to ex-slaves and their descendants….. hence cow “boy”……

  2. My we never know what a simple announcement will trigger, will we. I had heard of black cowboys but only as part of the vast slave empire on which the US was built.
    wisewebwoman recently posted..Letting Go

  3. i can’t say that i’m a real fan of quentin tarantino movies. i’m a little to milk toast for them!
    but i remember learning about a really famous black cowboy named bill pickett. he invented bulldogging. he used to bite the lip of the cow to bring it down. wow. now that’s either VERY sad. or very amazing.
    and knowing how I love animals you know where i stand.
    he died in 1932 from being kicked in the head by a horse.
    but he apparently was quite the cowboy til then.
    i think of you as a different kind of cowboy! (regarding the post where i learned of it from you. LOL!) a much more exotic cowboy as it were.
    oh! I’ve always wanted to say “as it were” hugs rummy. you old cowboy.
    tammy j recently posted..a dark and stormy night

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