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From the chiseled, insouciant Robert Mitchum and the rugged, laconic Clint Eastwood to John Wayne, the most celebrated cowboy of all, Hollywood's Western icons are invariably strong, brooding, white men. The roles they play, too – legendary frontiersmen like Jesse James, Billy the Kid and Wyatt Earp – are typically ranchers, lawmen or outlaws battling for money or land on behalf of White America. It is little surprise then that the racial makeup of America's real Wild West – a roiling pot of Europeans, Chinese, Mexicans, Native American and blacks – remains one of the country's best-kept secrets. The movie follows Quentin Tarantino's Westerns "Django Unchained" and "The Hateful Eight" among the few Hollywood hits about black cowboys.Austin points to the fictional masked gunslinger "The Lone Ranger," who battles outlaws with his Native American sidekick Tonto, as an example of Hollywood compounding ignorance over race in the Old West.
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