1883 tells the origin story of the Dutton family, the clan that is central to the #1 TV show Yellowstone, as they head West.

LaMonica Garrett, who plays Thomas, recently sat down with uInterview founder Erik Meers to discuss the show’s representation of black cowboys.

“It meant a lot to me,” Garrett said. “It meant a lot to me when I was reading the scripts and I got to read some of them before I landed the job. The more and more that I read, I was like, ‘I have to tell this story. Whatever we have to do to make this happen.’ Knowing the significance of what Thomas represents and what he is to this story and that time period and what he means for people present day – black men, women, children – to tell a story like this. “

“I grew up loving Westerns,” he continued. “I love Westerns. I watched Westerns and I didn’t know as a kid that I wasn’t seeing people that looked like me. You’re not aware of racism and prejudice when you’re that little watching it with your parents. The older I got, I was like, ‘Wait a minute. There’s a whole other world they never touched on.'”

“In doing research for Thomas, I really peeled the layers back and then you really find out African American cowboys were one in every four,” he added. “The huge impact they had in shaping the American west – none of the stories have been told before. Thomas having the story arc he did was huge for me and it was huge for a lot of other people that I’ve come across since they’ve watched it.”

Garrett also revealed what it was like working with co-stars Faith Hill and Tim McGraw.

“It was amazing working with them!” Garrett said. “You sign up and you work with big name people and you don’t always know what’s going to happen or what energy they’re going to bring – might show up with their own trailers with green M&M’s only in them and not want to be associated with the rest of the cast because they are who they are. Then you meet Tim and Faith, and they were salt of the Earth people. They were great people and we all bonded. Tim and I talked sports and baseball, and Faith is just one of the guys. We were all together all day every day.”

Season One of 1883 is now available on Blu-ray and DVD.

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