Red Dead Redemption 3 Should Have A Black Lead

Red Dead Redemption 3 is officially happening, we just don't know when, where, or with whom? Though, there is a lot of speculation about the latter, and I'm gonna throw my 2 cents into the ring.

Red dead redemption 3 main character black charles smith
Red Dead Redemption 3 could change a lot of perceptions. | © Rockstar

I already wrote about who might be the lead character in Red Dead Redemption 3 here, and I don't have many new things to add. Hell, all I'm doing is speculate anyway, but here's why I think the lead character in Red Dead Redemption 3 should differ from the ones in RDR 1 and RDR 2 in one particular manner: Skin color. Yes, I'm that guy, bringing in race and ethnics and all that controversial annoying sh*t into this, but here's the deal that you might not know about: The Wild West wasn't all white, there were a lot of black cowboys, and the Lone Ranger was whitewashed. Time to get some fair representation, and RDR 3 is the place to start.

Red Dead Redemption 3: Black Main Character?

Ok, I just threw some facts around, so let me prove that they're not half-assed: Yes, it is true that there were a lot of black cowboys. In fact, 1 in 4 cowboys was black. There, that's me un-half-assing my fact, and you can click the link to read the history-folks get into more detail, but I wanna get to the more interesting fact: The actual Lone Ranger was a black man. Yes, the white Hollywood franchise is based on Bass Reeves, a law enforcement officer that lived from 1838-1910 and made over 3000 arrests. It's as impressive as it sounds, which is why Hollywood picked the story up, but forget to mention the black part.

There. Fact-checking done. Now, where is all this in gaming? It's non-existent, that's what. Movies are starting to change the narrative already: Denzel Washington was leading the Magnificent Seven remake, Jamie Foxx portrayed Django, and Idris Elba just starred in a black cowboy film on Netflix, so we're making progress, and we're getting somewhere.

In gaming, controversial progress has often been spearheaded by Rockstar, and make no mistake about it: A black Red Dead Redemption lead would be controversial. Still, true history has been whitewashed for long enough, and Rockstar already set a beautiful foundation with Charles Smith: The half-native-half-black support-cast character from RDR 2 is a fan-favorite, and many want to see his story explored. Even if Rockstar doesn't decide to pick up Charles' story again, there is a lot of black history within the Wild West begging to be explored, and if Rockstar doesn't pave the way, then I don't know which game developer will, because as it stands, the Wild West has become a white man's fantasy of exploration, conquering and adventure, when, in reality, it simply wasn't. On that note, how about the Native-American side of things? RDR 2 touched on it, but no big developer has ever done it justice.

Red Dead Redemption 3 will be amazing either way, but another Caucasian power trip would be a disappointment.