Member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators

Blacks in the Old West | Rick Pettway
January 3, 2013#

Blacks in the Old West

Buffalo  ScoutLike  so  many  others,  I’ve  enjoyed  TV  and  comic  book  westerns  since  I  can  remember.  I  vividly  remember  my  imaginary  jaunts  into  the  old  west,  roaming  the  plains  and  hunting  down  bad  guys.  Our  backyard  was  the  setting  as  my  brothers  and  I  re-enacted  the  scenes  over  and  over  again,  with  our  trusty  cap  pistols  at  the  ready.

My  passion  for  Art  and  and  drawing  action  figures  helped  me  develop  a  deeper  more  visual  fascination  with  this  period  in  our  American  history.  Though  I  didn’t  think  much  of  seeing  only  the  occasional  black  face  in  the  movies  back  then,  I  was  proud  to  learn  later  that  black  folks  were  present,  on  deck,  in  attendance,  there  with  bells  on  and  contributed  mightily  to  the  development  of  old  west  America.  Among  those  contributors  were   cowboys,  soldiers,  shopkeepers,  trappers,  farmers,  lawmen  and  countless  other  roles  filled  by  African  American  migrants  seeking  new  lives  in  the  west.

My  mission  is  to  create  compelling  stories  of  historical  fiction  for  middle  grade  to  young  adult  (YA)  readers.  The  American  old  west  provides  the  setting  and  an  immense  historical  repository  from  which  to  fashion  strong  characters  in  general  and  African  Americans  in  particular.  I  wish  to  inspire  greater  readership  among  young  people,  while  offering  interesting  characters  with  whom  they  can  identify.

Though  my  stories  are  fictional… settings,  circumstances  and  events  accurately  reflect  history,  through  entertaining  subjects  and  thoughtful  character  development;  illustrated  in  a  language  kids  will  enjoy,  understand  and  want  to  return  to  again  and  again.


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