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Press Release - 10/22/2023

 On Sunday, October 29, 2023, the distinguished Art T. Burton, a celebrated figure in the realm of Wild West literature and a retired History Professor from South Suburban College, will be featured on "CBS Sunday Morning," delving into the remarkable life and enduring legacy of Deputy U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves.  An alumnus of Governors State University, Burton  stands as the foremost authority and biographer on Reeves, and his insightful commentary promises to shed new light on Reeves' extraordinary law enforcement career and historical significance.


     With over three decades of meticulous historical research, Burton has been dedicated and instrumental in elevating Reeves' profile, even though he is not affiliated with the development of the highly-anticipated series, "Lawmen: Bass Reeves," produced by Taylor Sheridan, the visionary behind the hit Western series, "Yellowstone."  Starring the acclaimed David Oyelowo, the series is poised to make its debut on Sunday, November 5, 2023, at 7 pm (CT) on Paramount. 


     CBS' interest in Burton's expertise is a testament to his profound understanding of Reeves' life and times.  In February 2022, CBS-Tulsa, alongside news anchor Craig Day, featured Burton in an illuminating news segment dedicated to Bass Reeves.  Further details about Art T. Burton and the enigmatic Bass Reeves can be explored on Burton's official website:


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Renowned historian and author Art T. Burton has been appointed Museum Archivist and Historian for the National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum (NMWHM) located in Fort Worth, Texas.

Burton, who received a B.A. and a M.A. in African American Studies from Governors State University, worked as an educator for thirty-eight years as a history professor at Prairie State College and South Suburban College and as an administrator in African American Student Affairs at Benedictine University, Loyola University Chicago and Columbia College Chicago. In his new capacity with the NMWHM, he will oversee the gathering of historical data from various sources, including archives, books, and artifacts, analyze and interpret historical information to determine its authenticity and significance and trace historical developments as they relate to people of color and the critical role they played in the development of the Old West in US history. “I am honored and excited to join the National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum in this official capacity, as I have had the pleasure of working with the organization for the past fourteen years as a historic consultant on the Wild West and the inclusion of people of color in regard to the scholarship of western history,” says Burton.

The museum, which was founded by Jim and Gloria Austin in 2001, offers visitors a true and complete historical perspective of the people and activities that built the unique culture of the American West. The work of artists who documented the people and events of the time through journals, photographs and other historical memorabilia are part of the featured collections. “The preservation of the role of the people of color and their contributions to the Old West is important because it has been overlooked and marginalized by the dominant social/commercial media and academia,” explains Burton. “It is important that all the contributions of every ethnic group is known and taught. We can appreciate and respect people once we know their history and contributions to society. Every group has a story to tell and that includes what happened in the Old West, which was made up of people from different ethnicities, religions, and cultures!”

Burton is an iconic figure and legend in the field of the history of the American West having been named a “Territorial Marshal” by Gov. David Walters of Oklahoma in 1995. He was inducted into “Who’s Who in Black Chicago” in 2007 and inducted into the Hall of Fame at the National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum in Fort Worth, Texas in 2008. In 2010, Burton was inducted into “Who’s Who in America” and was given the “Living Legend Award” by the Bare Bones Film Festival in Muskogee, Oklahoma in 2015. Museum Co-Founder Gloria Austin says the addition of Burton to the NMWHM is a bold move that will ensure the continued success and growth of the museum, “We, the National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum Board of Directors, are most fortunate to have such an outstanding and noted author and historian such as Art T. Burton accept the appointment as the Museum Archivist and Historian,” says Gloria Austin. “Over the past fourteen years, Art has continuously supported the Museum’s efforts to present accurate historical facts to assist our educational efforts through programs for youth and adults. We are so very honored that a member of the Museum’s Hall of Fame is stepping up in such a large and significant way that will enrich the Museum’s growth and development for years to come.”


In 1991, Art Burton wrote the first book on African American and Native American outlaw and lawmen in the Wild West. It is titled “Black, Red and Deadly: Black and Indian Gunfighters of the Indian Territory, 1870-1907.” In 1999, Burton wrote the first book on African Americans who were scouts and soldiers in the Wild West. The book is titled “Black Buckskin and Blue: African American Scouts and Soldiers on the Western Frontier.” In 2007, Burton wrote the first scholarly biography on an African American lawman of the Wild West. This work is titled, “Black Gun, Silver Star: The Life and Legend of Frontier Marshal Bass Reeves.” His most recent work, "Cherokee Bill: Black Cowboy, Indian Outlaw" is now available.

Burton has appeared in four documentaries for the History Channel on cable television. He was a participant on BET’s Teen Summit with Mario Van Peebles for discussion on the movie “Posse.” In 2015, Burton appeared on FOX Cables’ Legends and Lies Series, episode title, “The Real Lone Ranger” and was a participant in the AHC Cable series Gunslingers episode on Bass Reeves. Burton spoke at the B.B. King Symposium at Mississippi Valley State University in the fall of 2018 on African American and Native American cultures. In July 2019, Burton was the keynote speaker at the 10th Anniversary Bass Reeves Western History Conference in Muskogee, Oklahoma.

He is passionate about the Wild West and continues to bring unsung heroes to light.


The National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum is located in the Historic Fort Worth Stockyards & Exchange District at 2029 North Main Street, Fort Worth, TX, 76164. Hours of operation are Wednesday – Saturday, from 11 AM to 4 PM. For more information on the National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum, visit or call 817-534-8801.

© 2020 by Aisha Okala. 

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