• Black Gun, Silver Star: The Life and Legend of Frontier Marshal Bass Reeves

  • Race and Ethnicity in the American West Series #1
  • By: Art T. Burton
  • Narrated by: Ron Butler
  • Length: 11 hrs and 15 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (152 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Deputy US Marshal Bass Reeves appears as one of "eight notable Oklahomans", the "most feared US marshal in the Indian country". That Reeves was also an African American who had spent his early life as a slave in Arkansas and Texas makes his accomplishments all the more remarkable. Bucking the odds ("I'm sorry, we didn't keep black people's history," a clerk at one of Oklahoma's local historical societies answered a query), Art T. Burton sifts through fact and legend to discover the truth about one of the most outstanding peace officers in late 19th-century America - and perhaps the greatest lawman of the Wild West era. Fluent in Creek and other Southern native languages, physically powerful, skilled with firearms, and a master of disguise, Reeves was exceptionally adept at apprehending fugitives and outlaws, and his exploits were legendary in Oklahoma and Arkansas.

A finalist for the 2007 Spur Award, sponsored by the Western Writers of America, Black Gun, Silver Star tells Bass Reeves' story for the first time and restores this remarkable figure to his rightful place in the history of the American West.

©2006 The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska (P)2015 Tantor

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What listeners say about Black Gun, Silver Star: The Life and Legend of Frontier Marshal Bass Reeves

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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inspiring story and insightful

The performance was great in that it immerses you in the story. Sometimes get lost with the
list of names, but the audible book was a great inspiring listen. It really gets the metal movie going. The book gets one thinking about all the American History that isn't taught.

3 people found this helpful

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Great topic. Lackluster delivery.

I would probably still have listen to this book because there are so few about Bass Reeves but I hope that one day someone does him justice. He was a true American bada$$. A real law man, unlike others, such as Wyatt Earp, that were likely as dishonest as the criminals they were catching.

1 person found this helpful

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African American History in the Old West

Great introduction to his life in the Oklahoma territories. The narrative is more like a series of reports, local folklore, and testimonies but still gives a colorful description. Worth the time if you like history.

1 person found this helpful

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Loved it

This is American history untold in American schools. Not only was the story of US Marshall Bass Reeves dynamic and inspiring but the period and location of his story is very revealing. From the sad transition through slavery to Plessy and legal segregation via "separate but equal" and the lost of Indian land into the State of Oklahoma the listener is sitting in a classroom of a story untold.

I highly recommend this audio and it's great narration by Ron Butler even if you're not looking to understand the true American story.

1 person found this helpful

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Black Gun, Silver Star: ThenLife and Legend of Frontier Marshall Bass Reeves

This is the real thing. Bass Reeves just might be the greatest lawman in American history. He as a former slave who made his bones working as a deputy US Marshall for Judge Isaac Parker (the Hanging Judge) out of Ft. Smith, Arkansas, with the huge Indian Territory of what would become the state of Oklahoma, as his area of responsibility, then in his later days in the environs of Paris, Texas. People who don’t follow the old west closely probably have never heard of him because of his skin color, but he should be held up as a great man who performed a tough job when it was really tough to be a lawman of any stripe in the United States, and especially in the old west. I found his story to be especially fascinating due to it being told from newspaper and magazine articles of the day, with dialogue taken directly from court documents in the trials he testified in. This book is highly recommended for anyone interested in American history.

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The Untold American History

Wow what a amazing story. Totally captivating from the beginning. This book is more educating, than it is entertaining. It should be a required reading for all American History Classes in this country. Thank You.

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THE MOST BORING THING YOU CAN LISTEN TO

Not the exciting or even remotely interesting wild west history you are looking for.

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Way too long

Bass Reeves clearly was an outstanding man and marshal but little seems to be known about him. The stories in this book are repeated many times. This book could have been much shorter. I only finished the book because I thought I might miss something if I quit early and just returned the book. Sadly I was wrong.

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Oklahoma Lawman

Detailed review of one of Oklahoma's best lawman. Strong courageous and accurate shooting enabled apprehension of 3000 wanted men with many displays of grit and wit.

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An exceptional life story.

though sometimes it gets a bit like an encyclopedia. thousands of great western tales. Bass Reeves is a great American Hero.

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Profile Image for Jjay 🖤
  • Jjay 🖤
  • 09-16-19

The Real Lone Ranger

This book has been well researched with the information coming from many sources including the legal court documents of the time.
It gives insight into American history, race relations, pioneering Africans, the reality of being First Nation (Native America) and the female condition within society. We are able to see that a great amount of black history has been lost! Some to time but mostly due to the racist attitudes of whites who value(d) only their own timeline (as small as it is). Bass Reeves was an amazing man and it is clear to see why the Lone Ranger was inspired by this mighty champion of the law. If only I had seen a black actor playing The Lone Ranger I would have thought it the best TV show to date and watched every episode. My childhood eyes were always scanning the screens for someone who looked liked me and seeing Bass Reeves a black man (like my dad) plus a Seminole Indian (who looked like me) would have been the best experience TV could have given me at that time. This book has given me truth that no hater can ever taint! That no racist hate can ever remove, for much of this book has comes from legal court documents. The story unfolds in an easy to follow fashion and the author makes the meaning of every sentence clear so as to avoid us being lost our lacking historical knowledge of those days. I am greatful to the author for his hard work. This is a book that took time to put together. I am also greatful to finally know the name and story of BASS REEVES. I will be sharing my new knowledge on Black Lawmen of America, First Native history etc and of course who the real Lone Ranger really was!