Attending the Arizona Black Rodeo in Scottsdale, Arizona was just a peek into the movement that William ‘Bill’ Pickett ignited with his perfection of steer wrestling, he changed the game for Black Rodeo members.
The month of September is always amazing. I was born in it and the weather tends to break a bit. Except in Scottsdale, Arizona. In 108° heat, we donned our cowboy hats, boots, and big belt buckles to see some of the finest Black Cowboys and Cowgirls compete for best in show.
Many thanks to Nissan for the invitation to come and take part in the festivities. They are the official vehicle sponsor for the Black Rodeo and equipped the four media representatives with a Nissan Armada Platinum SUV duo to take us to and fro for the two-day press event. Not only did we ride in style, but we were also able to ride in comfort. Did I mention the 108º heat?
The vehicle shown below is painted Coulis Red Pearl and sports a v8 engine and 4-wheel drive. With a tight turn radius, this full-sized SUV handled like a car with a much smaller imprint. Cargo space was abundant as well as 8 roomy seats to handle all of us if necessary. The optional 3rd row had enough space for our tallest media body to fit, and she’s tall y’all.
The Platinum trim of the Nissan Armada clocks in at just over $70k, but you can get the same roominess, tight turn radius and so much more on trims below this. I wasn’t able to open it up on the road – this wasn’t a drive-and-learn trip – so I can’t speak on the speed, but I have a sneaking suspicion that I wouldn’t be disappointed.
Upon arriving in Phoenix, Arizona, I was transported to the beautiful Westin Kierland Resort & Spa, which would be my residence for two nights. Fancy digs to enjoy a quick swim, a nice spa treatment, or just a comfortable night of sleep.
Check-in was smooth and we jumped right in the saddle with a welcome night dinner and opening party at the American Legion. Listen, I’m a slide person – the husband and I opened our reception with the juke slide – I am from Chicago after all – but the line dances I learned will now be added to my repertoire and used immediately.
Arizona Black Rodeo
There’s something about being surrounded by people having a great time. It’s even better when those folks are skinfolk. And for my non-Black readers, being in a space filled with cowboy hats and boots, bull-riding and line dancing, and ONLY seeing Black faces was a sight to behold. I’ve been in motorcycle clubs with my grandfather where there may have been cowboy boots, but there were also tons of leather vests, chains, and leather Baker Boy hats – and the laughs were free flowing as well as the dancing. Same feel, different vehicle.
The actual rodeo took place on Friday & Saturday, and we took part in the Friday night festivities. Got to talk to all of the cowboys and cowgirls as well as interact with their horses. Let me tell you, I will never ever stop marveling at the majestic nature of horses. I may be showing my city side here, but the power that these animals hold may have hypnotized me. Especially during the barrel races. ESPECIALLY a barrel race on a full-sized horse by a 5-year-old.
The Arizona Black Rodeo has been taking place for the last 11 years, and has been organizing this annual rodeo to promote an appreciation for our cultural heritage, provide education about the role African Americans played in shaping the history of the West while giving youth a hands-on experience with sportsmanship, equestrianism, and agriculture. The producer and coordinator are Lanette “Finky” and Cloves Campbell – both pillars in Arizona and champions of the Black Rodeo scene.
I’m anxiously looking forward to the next rodeo I can attend, because if anything these boots were made for the rodeo!
Check out more of the events with #AZBlackRodeo and #NissanDiversty on all social channels.