This post is about badass Black History legends. Les go!
In the Jim Crow era a 19 year old Black woman hopped on a motorcycle and rode across the US. Bessie Stringfield not only rode alone across America during the 1930s and 40s, she did the same in Europe, Brazil, and Haiti. She'd toss a penny on a map and where it landed is where she went. Bad to da bone!
Bass Reeves was the first Black US Marshall west of the Mississippi. He patrolled Arkansas and the Oklahoma Territory between 1875 and 1893. He arrested around 3,000 felons and killed 14 men in self-defense. It's been pretty much confirmed that the fictional character the Lone Ranger was based on Bass Reeves, they simply made him a white man instead.
I'm convinced Marshall Reeves' first name is shorthand for "Badass".
This "Try me" expression is perfection!
Robert Smalls was a slave on a Confederate warship. He pretended to be servile, earned the trust of the captain, and then with fellow slave sailors captured the ship. He then sailed back to shore to get his family and the families of the other Black sailors to free them. Then they sailed into Union waters and surrendered the ship to them. He became a true hero for the rest of the Civil War. He went on to become a South Carolina legislator and US Congressman. And if all that wasn't badass enough, after the war ended, he returned to the plantation where he and his parents had been slaves, and bought the property!