By Dee Ford Byas
FRANKLIN, TN — Black Rodeo USA is blazing trails of culture and tradition countrywide as it makes its second stop on an eight-city tour on May 28 in Nashville area. There will be two shows 1 pm and 7 pm at the Wilson County Fairgrounds in Lebanon.
Since its Arizona inception in 2011, the family-oriented event coined, “The Hottest Shows on Dirt,” continues to grow as thousands have hopped on the Western phenomena spotlighting Black rodeo cowboys and cowgirls. Noted as a Triple-E rated show for its exciting “Education” and “Entertainment” for “Everyone,” the event celebrates African American heritage.
Showcasing the cultural, educational aspect of the Black Rodeo, guests will be enlightened by the action-packed performances of local and national competitors with skills in Calf Roping, Ladies’ Barrel Racing and Steer Undecorating, Bull Riding,Relay Races, Steer Wrestling, etc.
“We strive to create opportunities for new and upcoming rodeos and have dedicated our association to promoting African American competitors by giving them an opportunity to compete right alongside of the best rodeo athletes the country has to offer,” said Black Rodeo USA President/CEO Lanette Campbell.
In 2008, she joined the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo Association as the Arizona coordinator for the nation’s only Black touring rodeo.
In 2009, Campbell was recognized as Rodeo Coordinator of the Year by the association; in 2011, she founded the Arizona Black Rodeo Association; and in 2012, the event was an official Arizona Centennial Legacy Project. Overseeing rodeos has been her passion, from working as a producer to being in charge of preparing the grounds for the show. “Being the person in charge is an honor, but I don’t think I need that recognition,” stated Campbell, adding she prefers not to bring attention to herself although she is “the one in charge.”
However, Campbell said the best part of the rodeo is the friendships she has acquired through traveling and competing throughout the Midwest states and abroad.
Meanwhile, she and competitors teach about the important role cowboys played in shaping American history in the West. According to published reports, Black cowboys in the West “accounted for up to 25% of workers in the range-cattle industry from the 1860s to 1880s,” and were usually former slaves or those born into families of former slaves.
The Grand Marshall for this years’ rodeo will be the Honorable Jerry Maynard.
Currently seeking a seat in the Tennessee State Senate, Maynard served in the Nashville Metro Council from 2007-2015. He is currently the owner of the Maynard Group.
More information: blackrodeousa.com; azblackrodeo.com.