Mia Mask, author of Black Rodeo: A History of the African American Western, will moderate a panel on The Western as part of the Academy Museum of Motion Picture's Regeneration Summit.
From the Academy:
Did you know that during the settling of the American West, one of four cowboys was African American? While their stories and lived experiences are based in history, representation of Black cowboys and cowgirls on screen has been scarce in mainstream cinema. And yet, Hollywood westerns have been extremely popular with Black audiences, despite the absence of Black representation and the stereotypical portrayals of Native American and Mexican people.
Join us for an in-depth look into the complex relationship between the Western film genre and Black representation in American cinema. The conversation will culminate with an exclusive screening of the groundbreaking 1937 Western musical featuring a Black-cast, Harlem on the Prairie—a film long thought lost and was recently restored by the Academy Film Archive.
This program will include perspectives from filmmaker and actor Mario Van Peebles, Vassar College Professor of Film Mia Mask, Associate Curator of Western History at the Autry Museum Tyree Boyd-Pates, first generation equestrian and inventor of Mane Tresses Chanel Rhodes, and Executive Director of Urban Saddles Ghuan Featherstone. Urban Saddles is a non-profit dedicated to building opportunity for youth and community through the equine experience and the cowboy code of the West.