I’m sure you are familiar with the legend of the Lone Ranger, his sidekick “Tonto”, and his horse “Silver”, but what if I told you that the Lone Ranger you know, was created from, and based on a man by the name of Bass Reeves, a true life Deputy U.S. Marshall in Arkansas and the Indian Territory?

What if I told you, that said deputy was a free black man, who headed West, to escape the racist structure of the established Eastern and Southern states?

The fact that I never learned about Bass Reeves in any of my many history classes doesn’t surprise me. The longer I live, the more I’ve come to learn that most of the things we’ve been taught in our dozen or so years of schooling are lies, half truths, and misrepresentations of historical facts.

For example… we’ve all been taught that Benedict Arnold was a traitor to our founding fathers, but we’ve never been told why. When you take the time to research what really happened, it’s much easier to understand why he made the choice to go against his fellow colonists, and side with the ruling British crown. But… Arnold is a topic for another day. Let’s keep our focus on this very remarkable man, Bass Reeves, who… while having died and buried a hero, was quietly left out from our school system’s history books.

This is probably the shortest “Spotlight” I’ve written, to date, but it’s by design. I don’t want to give away all of the goodies of this story. Micah Naziri’s article did a fine job explaining the details. It’s a short read, but very informative an well put together.

Click on the link below for Naziri’s article. In it you can find a list of books that have been written and published about Bass Reeves over the years, Since his death in 1910. I also attached a short YouTube video. Enjoy!

Written by: Attila Domos

Bass Reeves (July 1838 – 12 January 1910), one of the first African American Deputy U.S. Marshals west of the Mississippi River, arrested over 3,000 felons and shot and killed fourteen outlaws in self-defense. (Wikipedia)


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