The Boley Rodeo, the oldest all-black rodeo in the United States, in Oklahoma state. All-Black towns grew in Indian Territory, now Oklahoma, after the Civil War when former slaves of the Five Tribes, known as "freedmen," settled together. When the Land Run of 1889 opened up even more opportunities for settlement, African Americans flocked to Oklahoma to escape discrimination, take advantage of those opportunities and find community. The largest and best-known of Oklahoma's historically all-Black towns, Boley is one of only 13 still in existence and the rodeo began in 1903, the same year the historic town was founded. The rodeo represents, in many ways, the forgotten and ignored history of rural black cowboys and the role they played in shaping the American West.
The Boley Rodeo - America's Only All Black Rodeo
by Stuart Isett