A Top Hand Bill Pickett was one of the best rodeo competitors…but still dealt with racism.

Bill Pickett
Bill Pickett.

Bill Pickett is one of the most famous of the black cowboys—and he was during his lifetime as well.  By 1890, when he was 20 years old, he was performing in and winning contests in county and state fairs, rodeos and more.  He later went on to star in the 101 Ranch Wild West Show.

But his color was sometimes a hindrance, with blacks barred from many competitions.  So Pickett was frequently billed as “The Dusky Demon” which emphasized his part-Indian heritage.

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