Black Rodeo In Portland Celebrates Culture And Community

At the Portland Expo Center, the Eight Seconds Juneteenth Rodeo brought attention to Black Western athletes for the first time. Over 40 people from all over the U.S. fought for prizes worth more than $60,000. Nearly 2,500 people came to watch the show. Black cowboys and cowgirls have a rich cultural history that isn’t often talked about in popular stories. However, this rodeo didn’t just show off their unique skills; it also celebrated their culture.

Ivan McClellan, who lives in Portland and is a well-known photographer, got the idea for this fantastic event and set out to bring the rodeo culture he loves to the city he loves so much. The Juneteenth Rodeo was part of McClellan’s Eight Seconds project.

which he started in 2015 to bring attention to Black rodeo culture in the United States and share encouraging stories of cowboys of colour. The project’s name comes from the minimum time a bull rider must stay on a charging animal for the strict rodeo judges to give them a passing grade.

At first, McClellan thought about meeting in Kansas City, Missouri, where he was born. But in the end, he decided Portland was the best place to do it because he knew it would have a bigger effect there. People in the area came together to support McClellan’s goal, and the event tickets sold out quickly, five days before the event.

Before the exciting horseback and risky bull riding, there was a busy vendor market where many local Black-owned businesses were set up. Tory Campbell and his wife Roxana, who own the well-known Felton and Mary’s Artisan Foods, were among the sellers.

Near the corner of Southeast 87th Avenue and Powell Boulevard, Tory’s grandfather ran the famous Campbell’s Barbecue restaurant, where it got its name. Even though the family barbecue business closed in the early 2000s, they kept the rights to their most prized recipes and started selling them at local farmer’s markets and grocery stores.

The Eight Seconds Juneteenth Rodeo was not only fun, but it was also a chance to learn. Black cowboys from the area and some of the rivals in the rodeo that night taught the crowd how to tie a rope. Warren Edney, who was very good at roping, told the group what he knew. Edney showed them how to rope gently while he was smiling the whole time.

He showed them how to do it by spinning the rope above his head and throwing it accurately at a fake cow. Edney just moved to the Vancouver area and is looking forward to the rodeo because it will allow him to meet other people of colour in the horse community. Edney learned to rope and ride when he was 8 years old. He grew up in Virginia.

Tyee Patton, who was 8 years old, loved his roping lessons. Tyee roped the calf several times, and each time he said happily that the studies were “great.” Nikki Patton, his mother, said that this was the first event for the family, but it won’t be the last.

Tyee wants to ride a “baby horse or bull” at the next rodeo because of what he learned at the last one. Kamal Miller, a bull rider from Carson, California, talked about how important it is to get younger people interested in the sport. Miller, who calls himself an “urban cowboy,” first heard about rodeo when he was 6.

Neon Martin

Neon Martin is a talented content writer with a passion for crafting engaging, informative articles on a wide range of topics. With a keen eye for detail and a love of language, Neon has honed their writing skills over several years of experience in the field.Neon's work can be found on, where they contribute insightful articles that explore the many facets of life in Hillsboro and the surrounding areas. Whether delving into local events, highlighting community leaders, or sharing tips on living a healthy and fulfilling life, Neon's writing always captivates and informs.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top