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The Frontier ClubPopular Westerns and Cultural Power, 1880-1924$
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Christine Bold

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199731794

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199731794.001.0001

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Jim Crow and the Western

Jim Crow and the Western

(p.131) 4 Jim Crow and the Western
The Frontier Club

Christine Bold

Oxford University Press

Chapter Four explores the processes by which Black Westerners were displaced by, and even on occasion transformed into, white heroes in frontier clubmen’s writings. The first case concerns Wister’s private encounter with a Black cook and ranch-hand, named Homer, who, the chapter argues, is the model for his fictional character Scipio. The second concerns Roosevelt’s much more public suppression of African American military contributions to the Spanish-American War, especially through the propagation of the white Rough Rider. The third focuses on Remington’s attention to Black soldiers, which produced a particularly conflicted representation of the Cuban campaign. The chapter also documents African American resistance to this erasure, through the creation of a distinctively Black popular culture and forms of cultural memory-making. Publications by Black servicemen, F. Grant Gilmore, Sutton E. Griggs, James Ephraim McGirt, and the Colored Co-operative Publishing Company all foregrounded Black rough riders as figures of racial pride.

Keywords:   African American West, Spanish-American War, Rough Riders, Black popular culture, Wister, Roosevelt, Remington, Sutton E. Griggs, James Ephraim McGirt, Colored Co-operative Publishing Company

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