Saturday, August 13, 2016

Black Indian: Bill Pickett: Rodeo Star

Proudly Red and Black: Stories of African and Native Americans, William Loren Katz and Paula A. Franklin, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, New York, 1993.
Bill Pickett: Rodeo Star
I had heard of Bill Pickett because one of the featured individuals in the Legends of the West set of stamps released by the U.S. Post Office, however the picture initially used was that of his brother rather than Bill Pickett.  Both versions were released.  However I didn’t know much of him.  Again Pickett has been identified more as an African American, however his father was African American, White and Cherokee.  His mother was also a blend, Black, Mexican, White and Indian.  Bill Picket is most known for bull-dogging.  He initially bull-dogged biting the lip of the steer.  However he let this go over time.  It is because of him that bull-dogging is part of rodeos.  He also performed in a wild west show, The 101 Ranch Wild West Show.  This was the Miller ranch hands performing in the off season, but it was popular and traveled through out America and South America.  With the advent of motion pictures, wild west shows became less popular.  However Pickett also performed in early movies, including the movie “The Bull-Dogger.”  Others who made this jump were Buck Jones, Hoot Gibson, Will Rogers and  Tom Mix.  Bill Pickett died and is buried on the Miller Ranch.  He was kicked in the head while he was trying to rope a bronco. 

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