A Black History Moment: Britton Johnson An African American cowboy, who was a legend in his own time, is barely known today. His name is Britton (“Britt”) Johnson. Born in Tennessee, a slave in 1840. Indians kidnapped Britt’s family, including his wife and daughters, during the Elm Creek Raid of October, 1864. His son was killed in that raid. Johnson searched for his family, and negotiated their release, after living with the Comanches. On January 24, 1871, Johnson died in a desperate defense behind the body of his horse. His fascinating story was turned-into a novel by Alan LeMay in 1954. He called it “The Searchers.” John Ford, a movie maker, then turned the novel into a film, starring John Wayne called “The Searchers.” The difference between the real story and the adapted stories was the color of the star. A black hero became a white hero in both the book and the film.\

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