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The Legend Behind the "Lone Ranger"

Like every year during the month of February, Dream Builders Communication, Inc., acknowledges Black History Month through the blog submissions we write. As a team, we all picked one less-widely-known individual in history to write about and discuss key aspects of their lives that resonated with us. The individual, of African American descent, whom I chose to write about this month was Bass Reeves, the first African American to become a United State Deputy Marshal West of the Mississippi River and one of the greatest frontier heroes of all time.

“Maybe the law ain’t perfect, but it’s the only one we got, and without it we got nuthin’.” – Bass Reeves.

Born into slavery in 1838, Bass Reeves was never a stranger to hard work. During his youth, he worked as a water boy and once he came of age, he worked as a field hand alongside his parents. Bass was known by many due to his tall-slender frame, his exceptional manners, and his sense of humor. Having partaken in the Civil War on the side of the Confederacy, Bass Reeves fled to an Indian Territory and took refuge until being ‘freed’ upon the establishment of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. He then would go on to serve 32 years as a U.S. Deputy Marshal, arresting 3,000 felons and only killing 14 men in the line of duty.

Although he could not read or write, Bass established the reputation of being fearless, persist, and crafty when pursuing lawbreakers. It has even been debated that Bass Reeves is the real legend that inspired the “Lone Ranger” that appeared on television and in movies.

From Bass’ legacy, one important lesson learned is that no matter the circumstances stacked against you, you have the ability to overcome them. Bass was born into slavery, was illiterate, and had to flee for his life; however, he did not let these limitations stop him. His story serves as a reminder to each of us that we can endure hardship and be victorious in the end.

Although we do not have the same trials as Bass, we can practice the same persistence, tenacity, and creativity in overcoming ours.

Do not accept your current situation at face value, especially if you have an ambition to strive for more. You can accomplishment more than you may think possible, if you aren’t willing to take “no” for an answer.