Miscellaneous Sports

What blacks have become icons in rodeo?

One sport often forgotten as a field for black winners is rodeo. In 1876 Nat Love (1844–?), former slave, frontiersman, and cowboy, was the only black claimant to the title Dead-wood Dick and so claimed to be the first known black rodeo champion. In 1905 Bill Pickett (1860–1932), rodeo cowboy and son of a former slave, is generally credited with being the first person to develop a way of bulldogging that made the act a spectacular performance. Pickett was honored in 1984 when the first Bill Pickett Rodeo was held; it continues as the only black rodeo. Other rodeo icons include Charles Sampson (1957–), the first black World Rodeo champion, in 1982; and Fred Whitfield (1967–), the first black American to win the world title in calf roping, in 1991. By 2000 Whitfield had won four World Calf Roping titles and was the first black rodeo performer to earn more than $1 million.References


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