Contact: Colleen Roche or Dwight Williams (212) 788-2958
Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani today officially opened the 12th Annual Black World Championship Rodeo in Harlem's Colonel Young's Park. Joined by New York City Schools Chancellor Rudolph F. Crew and Dr. George E. Blair, president of the Black World Championship Rodeo, the Mayor proclaimed today "Black World Championship Rodeo Day in New York City.
"At the conclusion of the 19th Century, close to one million African-Americans migrated west and founded all-black townships from Oklahoma to Washington State," Mayor Giuliani said. "While their contributions to history are immeasurable, few Americans today are aware of the important roles these frontiersmen and women played in settling the West. These cowboys and cowgirls worked ranches, rode the ranges, steered cattle and as today's event showcases became acclaimed rodeo riders. The Black World Championship Rodeo, gives New Yorkers the opportunity to learn the skills of the West, but also provides us with an important history lesson."
The Black World Championship, founded in 1986 by Dr., George E. Blair, is an exciting, continually evolving rodeo and comprehensive educational program that identifies, documents and presents information about American Black Cowboys, Black Cowgirls, Buffalo Soldiers and Rodeos. The Championship Rodeo is the only American rodeo founded in a major city. The rodeo travels throughout the United States.
Dr. Blair presented Mayor Giuliani with a Black World Championship Rodeo Belt Buckle, in recognition of the help and support extended to the Rodeo during his time as the City's chief executive.
The Rodeo features six major events: bull riding, bronco riding, calf roping, teamroping, barrel racing and steer wrestling.