Tom Bass

Meet the Past
Be part of the studio audience as KCPT tapes the latest installment of Meet the Past in which Library Director Crosby Kemper III interviews legendary African American horseman Tom Bass, as portrayed by Walter Coppage.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
6:30 pm
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Meet the Past with Crosby Kemper III returns for a conversation with Tom Bass, portrayed by veteran actor Walter Coppage. Born a slave, Tom Bass became a world-famous horse trainer and equestrian showman. Though he spent most of his life in Mexico, Missouri, in the 1890s he operated a stable in Kansas City and became the first African American to ride in the American Royal Horse Show. He won countless equestrian awards and invented the Bass bit, a humane mechanism that protects a horse’s mouth during training. It is still in use today.

Walter Coppage previously portrayed jazz legend Charlie Parker for Meet the Past. Among his film credits are All Roads Lead Home, Suspension, The Only Good Indian, and the upcoming Jayhawkers. Major funding is provided by the Courtney S. Turner Charitable Trust, Ken and Cindy McClain, and the R.A. Long Foundation.