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TUESDAY June 23, 2020 : BLACK COWBOYS are REAL by photographer Forest McMullin. ZUMA Press photographer Forest McMullin is a photographic educator based in Atlanta, GA. As McMullin learned more about the history of Black Rodeo in the US, his intention morphed from pure curiosity to a firm belief in the rodeo's mission of bringing attention to the history of the black West. 'The history of African American cowboys and their role in settling the West isn't that much different from the history of other African American groups and it's been largely ignored by historians and the media, the fact is that African Americans made up roughly 25 percent of the cowboys responsible for the historic movement west.' The Southeast Rodeo Association is committed to keeping the cowboy way of life and upholding the important contributions the African American Cowboys played in helping tame the Old West.
© zReportage.com Story of the Week #742: TUESDAY June 23, 2020 : BLACK COWBOYS are REAL by photographer Forest McMullin. ZUMA Press photographer Forest McMullin is a photographic educator based in Atlanta, GA. As McMullin learned more about the history of Black Rodeo in the US, his intention morphed from pure curiosity to a firm belief in the rodeo's mission of bringing attention to the history of the black West. 'The history of African American cowboys and their role in settling the West isn't that much different from the history of other African American groups and it's been largely ignored by historians and the media, the fact is that African Americans made up roughly 25 percent of the cowboys responsible for the historic movement west.' The Southeast Rodeo Association is committed to keeping the cowboy way of life and upholding the important contributions the African American Cowboys played in helping tame the Old West.
TODD MORRIS is the communications manager for the South East Rodeo Association, promoters of the rodeo in Birmingham.
© Forest McMullin/ZUMA Wire
ADAM EZELL, JR, 75, no longer competes in the rodeo. He rode in the grand entry at the Bill Pickett Rodeo in Memphis.
© Forest McMullin/ZUMA Wire
A rider during a roundup event and competition at the Southeastern Rodeo Association in Birmingham.
© Forest McMullin/ZUMA Wire
MELISSA ELLISON (R) is an nurse and MELISSA BROWN works in accounting for a forest products company. They're trail riders and were attending the Bill Pickett Rodeo in Atlanta.
© Forest McMullin/ZUMA Wire
ERICK WILLIAMS, 15, is in tenth grade sits on a trailer at the Bill Pickett Rodeo in Memphis. He enjoys competing in the relay races at the rodeo, but plans to join the Coast Guard when he graduates from high school.
© Forest McMullin/ZUMA Wire
DERRY L. PIERCE traveled from Suk Village, Illinois to attend the Bill Pickett Rodeo in Atlanta. Derry is a police detective and this was only his third rodeo. He planned to compete in the calf roping category.
© Forest McMullin/ZUMA Wire
A young girl rider takes a break in the stands at the Southeastern Rodeo Association in Huntsville.
© Forest McMullin/ZUMA Wire
DARRELL THOMAS' father founded the Anahuac Saltgrass Cowboy's Association in Texas in the 1960's as an all black rodeo group. Darrell rode in rodeos for 16 years competing in bull riding. He now lives in Atlanta where he works in construction. He was attending the Bill Pickett Rodeo in Atlanta.
© Forest McMullin/ZUMA Wire
Young attendees before the competition starts at the Southeastern Rodeo Association, Greenville, South Carolina.
© Forest McMullin/ZUMA Wire
DASHAWN DICKS (L) and CLINTON BROWN take a break at their trailer during the Southeastern Rodeo Association event in Columbia.
© Forest McMullin/ZUMA Wire
RENNAE ISLES is a rider from Canton, OH, and attends the Bill Pickett Rodeo in Atlanta. She had recently arrived in Atlanta looking for work as a driver in the film industry.
© Forest McMullin/ZUMA Wire
AARON KIDD and TODD MORRIS ride their horses outside the arena before the Southeast Rodeo Association event in Birmingham.
© Forest McMullin/ZUMA Wire
JAMES TAYLOR from Tulsa, OK, at the Bill Pickett Rodeo in Memphis. James has been competing as a steer wrestler for twelve years.
© Forest McMullin/ZUMA Wire
A rider in a blur of motion during a roundup event and competition at the Southeastern Rodeo Association in Huntsville.
© Forest McMullin/ZUMA Wire
BRUCE CLARK, AKA 'Doc', short for 'Doc Holliday' rides his Tennessee Walker with the Sunset Saddle Club in Memphis.
© Forest McMullin/ZUMA Wire
JAMES FORREST, 68 (L) and SHELLY DRANE, 74 (R) are members of the Memphis Regulators riding club and still compete in the rodeo relay races at the Bill Pickett Rodeo in Memphis.
© Forest McMullin/ZUMA Wire
CHRISTA HENDERSON sits in the back of her horse trailer at the Southeastern Rodeo Association, Corinth, Mississippi.
© Forest McMullin/ZUMA Wire
THAD HEARD, with sons TYLER, and THADDEUS are three generations of cowboys at the Bill Pickett Rodeo in Atlanta. Thad, a retired fireman, has been riding in the rodeo since 1994 in the steer wrestling competition. Thaddeus is a cook at Waffle House and plans to start competing in the rodeo when Tyler is a little older.
© Forest McMullin/ZUMA Wire
Riders pause to pray while sitting on their horses before the competition begins at the Southeastern Rodeo Association in Huntsville.
© Forest McMullin/ZUMA Wire
A rider during a cattle roundup event and competition at the Southeastern Rodeo Association in Birmingham.
© Forest McMullin/ZUMA Wire
WILLIE GREEN lives in Birmingham and boards his horse at an area stable at the Southeastern Rodeo Association, where he rides at least once a week. When not riding he is a truck driver with an 18 wheeler.
© Forest McMullin/ZUMA Wire
Forest McMullin

Forest McMullin is a photographic educator based in Atlanta, Georgia. For over twenty-five years he has been providing distinctive photographs to Fortune 500 corporations, graphic design firms, advertising agencies. He specializes in photographing people on location and is respected for his ability to bring out their dignity while still showing them with directness and honesty. McMullin received a BFA from Rochester Institute of Technology and an MFA from SUNY at Brockport. His work is in the several permanent collections including George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography, American Society of Media Photographers, Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester Institute of Technology.:742



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