HUMBLE – For 17 consecutive years, the Black Professional Cowboys and Cowgirls Association (BPCCA) has hosted the Annual Heritage Day Rodeo. Cowboys, cowgirls and people from all walks of life travel far and near to witness and participate in this splendid celebration. Not only is “Heritage Day” a community event, but it embraces and promotes the idea of cohesive family unity. The theme of this grand occasion is designed to stress emphasis on, “the importance of remembering cultural heritage and serves to strengthen family traditions”. The event was held at the Humble Civic Center located at 8233 Will Clayton Parkway, 77338. The Annual “Heritage Day” celebration is divided into three different compartments. They include: the Black “Heritage Day” Rodeo (which features an umbrella of athletic rodeo activities), concerts (performed by Rhythm and Blues and Zydeco singers) and an exposition phase which consists of: games, rides, art and crafts, southern eateries and a zone specifically engineered for children. The sports and games that are demonstrated at the “Heritage Day” event are designed to allow the younger population of the community, to grasp a slight idea of what it was like to be a cowboy or cowgirl in the early days.
BPCCA also hosts a, “Boots and Diamonds” dance which jumpstarts their yearly celebration in the month of January. Much like, “Heritage Day”, the dance is an annual tradition when family and friends gather together in celebration and fun. It is initiated on New Year’s Day. Cowboys, cowgirls and helpful supporters join in to enjoy.
In reference to “Heritage Day”, Dwight Judge the founder of the association expressed that it proved to be an ultimate success. Judge founded BPCCA in 1999 and has been actively hosting several events throughout each year since. In regards to this year’s festivities, he said, “We want to thank all of our participants and fans who came out to support the 17th Annual “Heritage Day” event.” “It was a record-breaking event for us, we had a terrific crowd”, he continued. Judge is passionate about the rodeo and the symbolism that the events stand for. “Black cowboys are an important part of our past, present and future,” Judge said. “We strive to keep the legend alive and growing.”
Lastly, Judge stated that they appreciate the support from the community because the funds received go towards their scholarship fund. “Supporting Education” is the mission that BPCCA subscribes to. According to BPCCA’s official website their purpose is to, “Create awareness and recognition for African- American men and women who have made significant contributions in the African-American community.” One of the primary goals of the organization is to maintain a College Scholarship Fund by hosting fundraising events throughout the year. Every year, BPCCA hosts a banquet which disperses these funds through scholarships for graduating seniors in high school to attend an accredited four-year university.
To date, the association has been successful in distributing 142 scholarships which amount to over $100,000, thus far. In addition to awarding scholarships BPCCA also honors outstanding “Trailblazers” within the community. So far, 31 distinguished African-American leaders of the community have been chosen to receive the “Trailblazer” award. The esteemed honor is one that acknowledges, “a person or organization that has demonstrated leadership and dedication in helping improve the plight of the African-American community.”
Last year, one of the “Trailblazer” award recipients was Percy Creuzot III (King), owner of the successful family-owned chain restaurant that has a rich history which dates back to 1969. Percy “King” Creuzot, III, is the son of Percy “Frenchy” Creuzot. “Frenchy” is the pioneer of the taste that originated in Third Ward on Scott Street, but has swept through the city offering its infamous New Orleans-style chicken and southern cuisine. Since his passing, Percy “King” Creuzot, III has not slowed down an ounce in carrying on the torch of providing delightful flavor that has bedazzled the African-American community in Houston and the surrounding areas.
The other recipient was our own publisher, Roy Douglas Malonson who was also chosen as a “Trailblazer”. For twenty years he and his wife, Shirley have effectively owned and operated our publication which publishes a wide array of editions that; present to the African-American culture of Texas, current and historical realities affecting its’ communities. Malonson is also the Chairman of the Acres Home Chamber for Business and Economic Development. Shirley Ann Malonson is the owner of Shirley Ann’s Black Kollectibles & Flowers. Together this dynamic duo has labored tirelessly in support of the African-American community. They have worked, contributed and been loyal and dedicated to the Houston and surrounding areas.
The vision of BPCCA is to, “Host the largest African-American civic event in Houston, Texas area; the event will serve to highlight the rich culture and traditions of the African-American Cowboys & Cowgirls.” Each year that the association carries out their Annual Scholarship Fund Awards Banquet and Annual “Heritage Day” events; bring them one step closer to enabling this vision to become a genuine manifestation.
History of the Black Cowboy
“The Black cowboy was one of adventure, survival, and natural ability. Many slaves brought into the United States came from countries such as Ghana and Gambia. These countries were widely known for herding cattle. Slave herders were very intrigued by the cattle herders and eventually picked up many techniques from their slaves. Throughout several parts of the Deep South, slaves used their skills on plantations that raised cattle. Most slaves used salt, bullwhips and dogs to manage cattle. After the Civil War, former slaves became cowboys that worked to move the cattle along different trails.
Many Black cowboys rode out of Texas along Goodnight-Loving, Chisholm and the Western and other trails in cattle drives to North and South Dakota, Colorado, Kansas and Wyoming. They would on average take approximately three months to reach their final destination. Of 35,000 cowboys between 1886 and 1896, approximately 5,000 to 8,000 of those cowboys were Black. Although much racism still existed, many cowboys, whether they were Black, White, or Red stuck together as a result of the hard times and change of lifestyle awaiting them.”
The Black Professional Cowboys and Cowgirls Association (BPCCA) is headquartered at 634 Rueben White, Crosby, 77532. To donate to the Scholarship Fund or for information/details contact Dwight Judge at, (281) 425-8998 or email firstname.lastname@example.org