Watch: Bass Reeves was the original Lone Ranger

We continue Keeping Black History Alive by shining a spotlight on Bass Reeves, the original Lone Ranger.

Bass Reeves was born into slavery in Arkansas. As a young man, Reeves fled into the Indigenous Territory of Oklahoma. Rumor has it he fled after getting into a fight with his owner over a card game. He lived among the Seminole Nation and learned the languages of the Cherokee, Creek, and Seminole. He became trained in Native American ways of tracking and hunting.

U.S. Marshal James Fagen needed help taming the Wild West. Fagen heard about Reeves, who knew the Indigenous territory and could speak Native American languages. Reeves was hired as deputy U.S. Marshal in 1875.

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