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'Concrete Cowboy' shows Philadelphia's Black cowboy culture

“Concrete Cowboy,” an urban Western about African American riders in Philadelphia starring Idris Elba, is about an often unseen Black cowboy culture.
Credit: AP
This image provided by Netflix shows Idris Elba, left, and Caleb McLaughlin in a scene from the film "Concrete Cowboy," premiering April 2 on Netflix. (Netflix via AP)

PHILADELPHIA — Historians estimate that 1 in 4 American cowboys were Black but you would be hard pressed to find a movie genre whiter than the Western.

“Concrete Cowboy,” an urban Western about African American riders in Philadelphia starring Idris Elba, is about an often unseen — and persisting — Black cowboy culture. 

“Concrete Cowboy” is a father-son drama set around Fletcher Street Stables, one of the oldest and last-remaining of Philadelphia’s hardscrabble inner-city stables. 

It dates back more than 100 years to when horse-drawn wagons were used to deliver produce, laundry and milk. 

Through tenacity and improvisation, Fletcher Street remains a cherished refuge and an ardent pastime for both children and adults on the streets of Philadelphia’s Strawberry Mansion.

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