CONCRETE COWBOY: 2020 (Netflix) The most interesting thing about this movie is the historical element. The movie is an adaptation of Greg Neri's young adult novel Ghetto Cowboy, which is a fictionalization of the urban African-American horse riding culture in Philadelphia, specifically the Fletcher Street Urban Riding Club (aka the Fletcher Street Cowboys).  It is believed that many came as part of the Great Migration, which began in the early 20th Century and saw blacks migrating north for more opportunities, including industrial jobs in cities like Philadelphia. Many brought their livestock with them. Black riders worked driving horse-drawn carriages in the city and delivering goods. They also herded cattle and traveled westward to help settle the frontier. Black-owned stables have existed on Fletcher Street for 100 years. Some of the origin stories of the Fletcher Street Cowboys that Harp (Idris Elba) and his friends share around a fire in the movie are based on the true story of how Black cowboys came to the city. I got this from, “this film features real-life members of the community playing themselves alongside big name actors like Idris Elba, Jharrel Jerome, and the always welcome Lorraine Toussaint.” Some of the real-life Fletcher Street Cowboys do make appearances in the film and their true stories are blended into the movie. The story of the film is classic: rebellious teen is redeemed by an animal, in this case, a horse. Cole (Caleb McLaughlin) is sent to live with his estranged father for the summer, and he finds a home and kinship in a community of Black cowboys. Although the father-son story didn’t interest us much, we enjoyed getting to know a bit about this community of urban cowboys. You may wonder if the Fletcher Street Stables are still there. The Philadelphia city government has destroyed some of the stables, ostensibly to redevelop the land. Concrete Cowboy ends on a bittersweet note, reuniting father and son in the face of great loss. GRADE B