Folk Arts Fieldnotes

Jackson Black Rodeo 2017

I started my position as the Folk and Traditional Arts Director at MAC back in May 2017. One of the first fieldwork experiences I had on the job was to photograph the Jackson Black Rodeo in July 2017. The rodeo is a national event and participants come to Jackson from all over the country to show off their skills at barrel racing, bull riding, and calf roping to name a few. The rodeo celebrated its 15th year in 2017 and takes place annually at the Mississippi Coliseum. The Jackson Black Rodeo is one of several black rodeos in the country. Stories of African American cowboys and cowgirls are often underrepresented in American popular culture, history, and on the national rodeo circuit. You can read more about the history of black rodeo participants and black cowboy/cowgirl culture here, here, here, and here. There is also a great feature about the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo from the Bitter Southerner written and photographed by Mississippi Folklife contributor Rory Doyle. I hope you enjoy the photos that I took and please check out the next Jackson Black Rodeo in 2019. 

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