It was in 2012, quite by chance, that the photographer discovered the African American cowboys and cowgirls and the Bill Pickett Rodeo in Atlanta.
Bill Pickett, legendary cowboy from Taylor, Texas, a descendant of Africans and Cherokee Indians was born in 1870, five years after the American Civil War.
Pickett invented the “Bulldogging” technique, which earned him the nickname: “The Bull-Dogger.” He performed in the biggest rodeo shows in the United States, Canada, Mexico, South America and even in England. He became the first black cowboy movie actor and was admitted to the National Rodeo Hall of Fame in 1971.
In the 19th century more than a quarter of cowboys were of African descent. Each year, since its creation in 1984 by Lu Vason, The Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo has crossed the United States to celebrate the legacy of African American cowgirls and cowboys, whose existence was often erased by Hollywood in western movies and in history books.
Cyril Bailleul has been fascinated by cultural diversity since his beginnings as a photographer with UNESCO. As Saint-Exupéry wrote, “If you differ from me, my brother, far from injuring me, you enrich me.” Cyril Bailleul honors this quotation with his work and shares it with you through this African-American cowboy heritage which is too often forgotten in a country which draws its wealth from diversity and successive migrations. Cyril presents, «In the Footsteps of Bill Pickett».
PHOTO GALLERY SLIDE RIGHT ..........