Eric Monte today
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My name is Eric Monte and when I was five years old I loved cowboys. Roy Rogers, Gene Autry and The Lone Ranger were my favorites. As I recall, I had this little broomstick horse that I was running around riding when this big old white guy came up to me. Now that I look back on it, he may not have been that big or that old but he was definitely white. He said, "who are you supposed to be"? I kept riding on my little broomstick horse and I said, "I'm the Lone Ranger". He said, "you can't be the Lone Ranger" and I asked, "why not"? "I'm always the Lone Ranger", he said. "The Lone Ranger is white. Everything about the Lone Ranger is white even his horse. The only thing black on The Lone Ranger is his mask and his boots" I went and looked and he was right. I wondered where were the black cowboys.

I started looking for black cowboys and heroes in movies but all the black cowboys and characters were stereotypes. They were dumb, dishonest, lazy, and ignorant. Some of the characters were funny, but I didn't want to be like them. I was actually ashamed! I made a vow that when I grew up. I was going to be a writer and make black heroes and characters that black people could be proud of.

So, look what I did next...
Good Times, Cooley High, What's Happening photos