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By Angel Colon
Photography: Shem Rajoon
Edited by Michael Moore
The picture above is not the Wild Wild West, it is the Black Rodeo in Harlem. Many people in Harlem were very shocked to see "Cowboys" enter one of Uptown's baseball fields. Nearly two dozens horses and Rodeo riders held a format more suited for a Texas audience. Hundreds of people showed up to see this bizarre event. Before this event, many of the young children had never seen a horse or real Cowboys. When the show finally began, there were a number of 'oohhs' and 'aahhs' from the crowd, but before the show we had a chance to speak with some of the stars of the Black Rodeo.

Melloy Scott feels that the Black Rodeo is much needed to let the people know that the "West was settled by Blacks." Many people use the word cowboy but don't know that the word came from the Blacks in Houston, Texas. The Black Rodeo is representative of our history, Black History. The Black Rodeo also has educational services such as teaching children how to ride horses and how to take control of the horse.


Melloy says riding horses is a powerful thing. Melloy also states that the Rodeo coming to New York is also a great thing because New Yorkers rarely have a chance to see Cowboys in action. Mr. Scott has been a part of the Black rodeo for eight years but the Black Rodeo has been around for fifteen. 

Mark Zagalar has been with the Black Rodeo for about a year. Mr. Zaglar likes to rodeo anywhere he can. He grew up around rodeo and was influenced by his father, another cowboy . Mr. Zaglar would like to see more black cowboys participate.

Shawn Blanks has been with the Black Rodeo since he was six years old. Shawn is from Houston, Texas. Shawn feels that Rodeo is a fun thing to do and he loves to Rodeo when there is nothing else to do. He also points out that if it was not for the Rodeo that he may not be here if he really thinks about it. He feels that it provides another alternate for the youth in Houston instead of getting involved with drugs or other harmful influences. Shawn's advice to the public is if you want to Rodeo go and rodeo.

Taroane Basty feels great that the rodeo was in Harlem. Taroane is only twelve years old and has been in tournaments for as long as he's been riding, which is only a few months. He is planning to work with the Black Rodeo helping out the staff with the horses. He says that learning how to ride a horse is just like riding a bike, once you learn you never forget. He has been in three or four tournaments and his lowest achievement is third place. He sees a future for himself in rodeo and he wants to teach other children how to ride.


Runaway slaves and freed slaves looked up at these cowboys. They provided the hope and courage for others to express themselves through a form of art - riding a horse. These cowboys were the pride of their land. They were fathers, brothers and sons. Their story must be told. Even in Harlem."



Are you ready for the Rodeo in Brooklyn on May 31st June 1st and 2nd ?

Keith Conner
Federation of Black Cowboys
Ho 718-446-1953
Wo 212-236-5239

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