AASG Members Attend 33rd Annual Dallas Black Rodeo

Tiffany Ramzy

Bull Riding, Steer Wrestling, Calf and Steer Roping, Ladies Barrel Racing, Wild Horse Racing, a Drill Team, and the Pony Express Relay! All of these events elicited oohs and aahs from the young and old alike, at the 33rd Annual Texas Black Invitational Rodeo, which was held at the State Fair Coliseum in Fair Park on June 18. The doors opened at 6 p.m., and there were vendors on site selling food and drinks, such as pulled pork sandwiches, BBQ brisket, and frozen margaritas. Other vendors sold cowboy hats and other rodeo trinkets, and there were also t-shirts on sale commemorating the 33rd year of the Texas Black Rodeo. The rodeo was presented by the Dallas African American Museum, and the event is the museum’s largest annual fundraiser.

Some members of the Robson Ranch African American Social Group (AASG) attended the event, and one couple, Richard and Renee Smith, even brought their two young granddaughters. The girls had seats close enough to experience the sights, sounds, and smells of the rodeo. There was soul music, fast horses, and a family-friendly atmosphere. The evening opened with a soulful rendition of the “Negro National Anthem” performed by local musician Emerald Khan who sang the song while playing it on jazz guitar. Local musician Angel White performed the traditional national anthem.

For some, this was their first rodeo ever. For others, this rodeo has become a tradition. The cowboys and cowgirls put on a show that did not disappoint, and while the dirt was slinging and the cowboy hats were flying, rodeo announcer Kevin Woodson kept the audience engaged with little nuggets of information about the rodeo events and about the history of black rodeo in particular. One such nugget of information was about steer wrestling, which was accidentally invented by a black cowboy named William “Bill” Pickett. Steer wrestling (also known as bulldogging) is where a cowboy captures a steer by the horns and rolls it over until all four feet are in the air. Bill Pickett, who is said to have stood only five feet seven inches tall and weighed only 145 pounds, performed rodeos in the Wild West shows of the late 1800s where he was known for biting the steer on the lip and then rolling over with it. There is a statue of Bill Pickett in Fort Worth.

This event was a fun time, and we invite you to join us at our next event. The African American Social Group (AASG) invites all African American residents, their spouses, friends, and neighbors to join us for fun and cultural events, such as game nights, soul food dinners, seminars, trips, and volunteer activities.

For more information, contact Tiffany Ramzy at 216-346-9416.