Friday, June 21, 2024

BHM: Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo Celebrates the History/Culture of Black Cowboys | WATCH

*Forty years ago, the Bill Pickett Rodeo was established to showcase the heritage of Black Cowboys in America. Fort Worth considered the birthplace of the West, serves as the perfect setting to commemorate this history during Black History Month.

“I’ve been involved in rodeo my whole life,” shared Marcus Verser, a seasoned cowboy from Spencer, Oklahoma. For Verser, rodeo symbolizes more than just competition. Participating in the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo at the Cowtown Coliseum in Fort Worth on a Saturday night, he emphasized, “I appreciate the excitement, enjoyment, and the crowd. The prize money is a nice bonus, but my passion lies in the essence of rodeo.”

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Bill Pickett Rodeo, established in 1984 to raise awareness about the significant presence and contributions of Black Cowboys in shaping the American West, reports CBS News Texas.

Valeria Cunningham, the president and owner of the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo, highlighted the initiative’s mission, stating, “Historically, one out of every four cowboys was Black. However, this fact often remains overlooked in textbooks and media.”

Bill Pickett poster - via Instagram
Bill Pickett poster – via Instagram

The Bill Pickett Rodeo offers a platform for Black cowboys and cowgirls to demonstrate their talents in various events, such as barrel racing and bull riding, captivating audiences from Memphis to Oakland and, of course, in Fort Worth.

Attending the rodeo with his family, Owen Moore expressed, “The camaraderie, the thrill from the crowd, and the remarkable abilities displayed by these cowboys and cowgirls are truly inspiring.”

Marcus Verser, a seasoned competitor in rodeos nationwide, clinched the top spot in the bronc riding competition, showcasing his prowess and celebrating his rich cowboy heritage.

Reflecting on the presence of Black cowboys in the rodeo circuit, Verser remarked, “There are Black cowboys all over, and if you claim otherwise, you simply haven’t ventured out to look for them.”

The Bill Pickett Rodeo is all set to return to Fort Worth’s Cowtown Coliseum for two shows on May 18th, continuing the legacy of honoring Black cowboy culture and history.

MORE NEWS ON EURWEB: The Bill Pickett Rodeo Entertains in Los Angeles (PHOTOS)

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