Rodeo to highlight Juneteenth weekend in S. Dallas
The 25th annual Texas Black Invitational Rodeo is set for 7 p.m. Saturday at the Fair Park Coliseum in South Dallas. And there is one cowboy who is ready to cowboy up this Juneteenth weekend for some action.
“It’s always a pleasure to go back home,” says Beaumont steer wrestler Ben Goodman, Sr., whose family tradition is to compete in this rodeo. “It was like a family event because my daughter used to barrel race in it and my son used to rope in it. So it started out as a family event because the whole family used to participate in it,” says Goodman, whose wife, Reecie, also barrel raced but is now “retired.”
Events that fans can expect to see include steer wrestling (also called bulldogging), tie-down roping, barrel racing, and bullriding, just to name a few.
Rodeo will be the premier Juneteenth event in DFW, featuring a variety of activities for the whole family. This year’s show will feature recording artist, IMAJ. Imaj is a singer/songwriter, visual artist and novelist from Miami Beach, Fla., but is now a certified Texan. Imaj was born into the entertainment industry—her father is Philip Michael Thomas of Miami Vice fame. Her talent for music spans multiple genres including Pop, Opera and Soul, as well as presenting these genres in a plethora of different languages.
The rodeo serves as a unique family entertainment outlet and features more than 200 black cowboys and cowgirls competing for $25,000 in prize money. This fast-paced sporting event is also an educationally enlightening experience that provides many of its almost 8,000 viewers with their first glimpse of African American’s historical contribution to the settling of the western United States.
This rodeo as well as the Cowboys of Color Rodeos were founded by Seminole, Okla., native-turned Dallas cowboy Cleo Hearn, whose vision has been to give ethnic cowboys and cowgirls a chance to increase their skills, earn prize money and be positive role models for kids.
The Cowboys of Color rodeos tour travels through Oklahoma and Texas and runs from January through October each year. The Cowboys of Color National Finals Rodeo is held at the world-renown Mesquite Championship Resistol Arena each year.
Saturday night is the main event. The rodeo begins with the Grand Entry Parade at 6:45 p.m., featuring top black motorcycle clubs from across the nation showing off their bikes in a grand display. Showtime begins at 7 p.m. sharp and will host a series of spectacular events. Additional rodeo events includes the pony express relay race.
Juneteenth or Freedom Day is a very important holiday in the black community, especially in Texas. On January 1, 1863, slavery was abolished in the United States, but it was not enforced in Texas until June 19, 1865. As a result, this occasion is recognized through various celebrations and parades, and the history of this event serves as one of many ways we shouldn’t forget our past. Organizers of the Texas Black Invitational Rodeo are committed to having the event as a tradition for many years to come.
Tickets for the rodeo can be purchased at the African American Museum, located at 3536 Grand Ave., in Dallas or http://museum.ticketleap.com/dallasblackrodeo/. Group discounts are available. For additional information or for sponsorship inquiries, contact Jelani Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org or (214) 565-9026, ext. 304.
Donald Lee is founder-pastor of Kingdom Living Christian Center in Dallas and a free-lance writer and copy editor. He can be contacted at (225) 773-2248 or email@example.com. Also, visit him at http://www.christiancouplesconference.com. Lee and Fort Worth-area evangelist Aimee Colbert will host the Christian Couples Conference on July7 at Grace Church in Haltom City, a Fort Worth suburb.
CUTLINE: Rodeo producer Cleo Hearn is shown in this tie-down roping photo. Photo courtesy of Cleo Hearn.