African American Film Pioneers: The Bronze Buckaroo
Actor Herb Jeffries, who would become well-known as a singer with the Duke Ellington Orchestra, starred in a string of race Westerns and, billed as the first Black singing cowboy, adapted the genre made famous by Gene Autry for the African American public of the time. Cowboy Bob Blake (Jeffries) and his trusty sidekick, Dusty, must race to save the father of a beautiful girl from untrustworthy land speculators. But they also manage to croon a few numbers with the featured musical group The Four Tones on the way. The film also features Spencer Williams in a cameo appearance. With short films.
(Richard C. Kahn, 1939, 58 min., 16mm print courtesy of Budget Films)
Allyson Nadia Field is Associate Professor in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies.