Since he was cast in 1883, LaMonica Garrett has been all-in on the cowboy lifestyle. Especially celebrating Black cowboys and their stories. As Thomas in the Yellowstone origin story, Garrett brought to life one of the most compelling characters in modern Westerns. Fans gravitated toward the actor and his character on the show.
So, of course, LaMonica Garrett is still obsessed with all things cowboys, cowgirls, horses, and rodeo. So, he decided to head over to The Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo in Los Angeles. For almost 40 years, the rodeo has celebrated the history of Black cowboys, rodeo, and Western culture.
“We highlight the irrefutable global appeal of Black Cowboys and Cowgirls in the West and the stories behind a sub-culture that is still strong today,” the official website says.
Check out LaMonica Garrett’s Instagram post below and see it for yourself. It looks like it was a dang good time!
LaMonica Garrett was able to cross paths with Reginald T Dorsey. An actor, cowboy, and activist, Dorsey and his work have helped lead the way for others like the Thomas actor. He wasn’t alone there, either. 1883 was in the building and they showed out.
Along with Garrett was James Landry Hebert. He’s best known as Wade from 1883. One of the cattle rustlers that the caravan hires to help out. They took in the festivities from one of the best seats in the house. While they sat around, there was plenty of music, great food, and of course, some horse riding.
One thing is for sure, the rodeo and Western stories of the past have gotten under LaMonica Garrett’s skin, and that’s a good thing.
LaMonica Garrett Embraced the History Early On
From the get-go, LaMonica Garrett was focused on not just bringing Thomas to life, but representing all of those other Black cowboys – real and fictional. As well as all of the little cowboys and cowgirls that need someone else to look to for their dreams. Unlike his upbringing, watching the Westerns of his childhood, he hopes he can inspire others and raise awareness around the real history of the West.
“1-in-every-4 cowboys throughout the 1800s were Black,” Garrett explained earlier this year. “[They] were Black cowboys. In every, every show I’ve seen… I haven’t seen any [Black cowboys] growing up. We were there, and if I just focus on [bringing Thomas to life], the other stuff will fall into place.”
The story of Thomas was one that inspired fans, all fans. He was a protector, quiet and reserved, and more complex than he would ever let on all at once. Now, after the show is over, LaMonica Garrett keeps carrying that torch. Highlighting all the best things that Black people, culture, and their stories have given to the fabric of the West.