There’s no denying that LaMonica Garrett is proud of his work in 1883. His role in the show has sparked a new interest in the history of Black cowboys.
You may recall that LaMonica Garrett first started to become popular as an actor thanks to his role in Sons of Anarchy. He played the role of Sheriff Cane on the series from 2011-2014. But now, he’s playing Thomas — one of the main characters in the new Yellowstone spin-off, 1883.
You best believe that LaMonica Garrett is proud of his work and proud to represent the Black cowboys from our history. We cover all things Yellowstone and 1883-related right here on Outsider, and we have talked time and time again about the one thing that sets these shows apart from the others — authenticity. Creator Taylor Sheridan has made it a priority for his shows to be as authentic to the time as possible.
Garrett knows that’s something the fans want in a good show. He explained that and more in a recent sit-down with Decider.
“People just want authenticity,” the 46-year-old said. “We’ve been regurgitating the same things for so long, and the old stereotypes just don’t go across like they did before.”
Black Cowboys Are a Part of ‘1883’ and a Part of History
LaMonica Garrett also took a moment to remind fans that Black cowboys are a part of our history, whether some 1883 fans realize it or not.
“Black cowboys aren’t portrayed now just for diversity; they are part of our history,” the actor told the outlet. “I look through the comment sections of 1883 and pretty often I see people saying, ‘The show is great. The show is historically accurate. I’m just not sure if I’m buying the black cowboy being there with him.’ I’m like, ‘What?'”
Back when Westerns dominated television in the early-to-mid 1900s, most of the cowboys you’d see on-screen were white. Garrett explained that’s because Black folks never got the chance to play those roles.
“For a long time, if black audiences wanted to see themselves on screen, the subject matter was either slavery or the civil rights movement from the 1850s to the 1960s. There’s a whole hundred-year gap in between! There were so many wonderful things in this country that black people were doing that just do not get talked about in history class or in cinema.”
LaMonica Garrett and the rest of the 1883 cast were able to watch the first two episodes of the show prior to their official premiere. He told Deadline that he cried when he saw his name in the credits — something that black actors in the old Westerns would have never seen.
“As I saw it, and my face popped up…I haven’t cried that much since my friend’s funeral, four years ago. It affected me. I don’t know where it came from. Knowing the history of it and doing my research, and just knowing what I saw and what I didn’t see growing up, it all came to that moment right there on that screen.”