There are so many more aspects to the sport of bull riding other than what the PBR/PRCA/CBR is doing (or not doing), I decided to put out some info that may be news to some people, or ho-hum, been there, done that, bought the tee-shirt, for others. A lot of interesting historical information is behind these links, but out of respect for copyright laws and other writers, I’m not posting their articles– just a few quotes to spur other people into reading them.
Note: Not all these men were bull riders; some were bronc riders, or rode in other rodeo events. Some of this information may be outdated, so don’t blame me. If I did all the research, I’d have enough material for a PhD thesis and a book!
A good place to start:
*BBC NEWS MAGAZINE: article by By Sarfraz Manzoor, out of Texas
“America’s Forgotten Black Cowboys” aired on BBC Radio 4.
*Vincent Jacobs, now 80 and living near Houston, battled racism as a rodeo rider in the 1950s.
*Jim Austin and his wife Gloria set up the National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, to tell the stories of cowboys like Bill Pickett.
*Black Rodeo, an 87 min.documentary, was released in 1972.
*Some guys to know (there are plenty more):
Walter Charles “Budah” Morse
Gene “Sugarfoot” Johnson
Clarence Gonzales, one of the first black bull riders to ride at Madison Square Garden
Willie “J” Boone
Jesse Stahhl (once rode a bronc backwards, with a suitcase in his hand, to protest a judge’s decision) Gotta love it! PBR guys, take note!
*Events, past and/or present (certainly not an exhaustive list):
Cowboys Of Color – Invitational Rodeos. Coming up on July 13, 2013: Travis County Expo
7311 Decker Lane, Austin, Texas 78724
Black Cowboy Parade and Festival, Oct. 5, 2013
Black Rodeo in Harlem
New York City
*Some organizations (don’t know if all still exist):
Real Cowboy Association http://realcowboyassociation.com/
Black Professional Cowboys and Cowgirls Association http://bpcca.com/index.htm
National Cowboys of Color Museum and Hall of Fame
Tarrant County Black Rodeo Association
Black American West Museum
Black Heritage Riders http://www.blackheritageriders.com
Latting Rodeo Productions, Inc. http://www.lattingrodeoproductions.com
Federation of Black Cowboys
Phone: 718-925-0777 Fax: 718-925-0474
Vaquero Heritage Foundation http://www.vaqueroheritage.org
I don’t know about you, but I’d like to see the bull riding world become more colorful. You can’t expect Craig Jackson to represent everybody!