The west is going to get a little wilder when They Die By Dawn hits the big screen! The action flick starring Nate Parker, Michael K. Williams, Erykah Badu and Rosario Dawson tells the stories of real life African American cowboys from the past, teaming up, kickin’ ass and taking names!
Our very own Meghan O’Keefe was lucky enough to attend a screening last night, and asked the stars which African American rough riders from history were their biggest inspirations. Michael K. Williams had to go with Ben Hodges, whereas Jeymes Samuel went with Rufus Buck and Cherokee Bill. “When Cherokee Bill was getting executed they said to him, ‘Any last words?’,” he shared. “And he said, ‘I came here to die, not to talk.'” OK, it’s pretty hard to top that for badass-ness. But we’re sure as hell going to try with our very own list of the 10 most badass African American cowboys in cinema history. Enjoy!
10. Morgan Freeman as Ned Logan in Unforgiven (1992)Morgan Freeman may be pushin’ it a little bit in the age department, but this retired gunslinger isn’t ready to be put out pasture quite yet.
9. Will Smith as James T. West in Wild Wild West (1999)
OK sure, the movie kinda blew. But the Badass levels Will Smith is able to transport to the 19th century totally makes up for it in this confused steampunk feature.
8. Fred Williamson as Big Ben in Adios Amigos (1976)
Football legend Fred Williamson wrote, directed and stared in this mid seventies comedy alongside Richard Pryor