Meet the Cowgirls Introducing Black Rodeo Culture Across the Country

By Carolyn Owens

It’s part family reunion, part traveling museum, and quite literally a wild ride. Going to the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo (BPIR) entertains spectators with flair that infuses Black culture into familiar rodeo events and highlights Black history with a focus on family.

Cattle roping and R&B: Black rodeo draws sold-out LA crowd

Photo by Caleigh Wells.

A sold-out crowd cheers over 2Pac’s “California Love” as dozens of horses and riders parade in the ring at the Industry Hills Expo Center. Bulls, calves and broncos await their events just out of sight.

This is the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo, the only national Black rodeo circuit in the country. And it just came back to Los Angeles for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

Rodeo celebrates black cowboys and cowgirls in history of the American west

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The Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo honors the legacies and contributions of black cowboys and cowgirls in history, while giving a new generation of rodeo pros the opportunity to show off their skills.

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