The New Black West
By Gabriela Hasbun
A powerful symbol of self-reliance, strength, and determination, the Black cowboy is a figure commonly overlooked in the histories of the American West. Held annually in cities across the United States, the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo (BPIR) honors the historic accomplishments of Black cowboys and fosters a vibrant community dedicated to continuing that legacy. Bay Area photographer Gabriela Hasbun has spent more than a decade photographing this beloved event in the Oakland hills. Her images capture the joy and excitement of performers and audience members, showcasing the daring feats, spectacular outfits, and welcoming atmosphere that make the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo an unmissable experience. In addition to Hasbun's photographs, The New Black West features quotes and stories from the cowboys themselves and a foreword from the Oakland rodeo's regional manager, Jeff Douvel.