From spirited events like bull riding to roping and steer wrestling, there is something so thrilling and exciting about the rodeo. Sadly, when one pictures a rodeo , the first – or only – thing that comes to most heads is the image of a white cowboy despite the fact that 1 in 4 cowboys in the US post Civil War were actually of African decent; not to talk of the existence of black cowgirls. The history of cowboys and cowgirls of colour seem to have been ignored and forgotten.
As blacks were not allowed to participate in rodeos till the 1970’s, all black rodeos became a necessity. One of those was the ‘Bill Picket Rodeo’ – named after the best-known African American rodeo performer of all time – which is now the only all black travelling rodeo who’s mission is to ‘continue and support the legacy of Black Cowboys and Cowgirls’. The current CEO is a woman, Valeria Vason-Cunningham.
I was inspired by their stories to create an editorial about two relentless and fearless modern day cowgirls (3rd Generation), who the locals refer to as ‘The Angelicas’.
Styled and Modelled by Aisha and Momo of Culpavinum
Photography and Creative Direction by me