Because cowboys ranked low in the social structure of the period, there are no firm figures on the actual proportion of various races. Census records suggest that about 15% of all cowboys were of African–American ancestry—ranging from about 25% on the trail drives out of Texas, to very few in the northwest. Similarly, cowboys of Mexican descent also averaged about 15% of the total, but were more common in Texas and the southwest. Other estimates suggest that in the late 19th century, one out of every three cowboys was a Mexican vaquero, and 20% may have been African-American.Regardless of ethnicity, most cowboys came from lower social classes and the pay was poor.
Hollywood‘s out of stories
A common complaint about Hollywood is that it is out of ideas, i.e. or in the words of there’s a story crisis in Hollywood! But I personally think that is bullshit. Let me tell you what that means: there are plenty of stories but they are out of the ones Hollywood wants to tell. One of Hollywood’s main function is to entertain us, but to do it in such a way as to make us better more consummate consumer. In entertain us Hollywood quite often sets agendas and influences given the selective nature of what they choose to talk about. Imagine how many life changing, and inspiring stories could come out if Hollywood in collaboration with the mass media companies through which they keep their coffers filling would give us more stories based on the America we actually live in
Imagine seeing movies that didn’t reinforce tired stereotypes ? This could be that would of course entertain us but not bind us to this fictitious depiction of our societies and in turn ourselves. Imagine movies would give us an opportunity to see see the plights of all the people who were swept under the carpet, or who lie outside the margins of the bowdlerized version of history we sell to each other and pour children?
So while it is illogical to imagine that Cowboys were poor Native, Blacks and Hispanics and not all the time ruggedly handsome and silent it is nevertheless true. But more important than being true, it is sensical.