Juneteenth became a national holiday, in large part, to the work of many Black Texans. So, it only makes sense that to toast to this celebration of freedom, we return to its roots.
To honor the cowboys and cowgirls of Texas, Crown Royal will be hosting a grand procession of all Black riders including, Crown Royal Rider and Professional Steer Wrestler, Tory Johnson, equestrian, horsewoman and activist, Brianna Noble, award-winning Steer Wrestler, Denard Hunt, and Compton Cowboys' solo cowgirl, Keiara Wade, through the Fort Worth Stockyards in advance of the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo on Saturday, June 18.
The procession ends at the Cowtown Coliseum within the stockyards, which will house a photo exhibit of the Black cowboy and cowgirl. Images and artifacts sourced by Tramaine Townsend, a Texas native and mixed media visual artist, and the National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum were included to amplify and honor the cowboys and their important place in our country's history.
"I am excited to celebrate Juneteenth in partnership with Crown Royal as we raise a glass to the cowboy community," said Jim Austin, Founder of the National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum. "The grand procession and photo installation give people a full perspective of how Black cowboys shaped our country and continue to impact our nation."
The museum strives to provide a full historical perspective of the people and activities that built the culture of the American West. In support of their efforts, Crown Royal, through the Crown Royal Generosity Fund, will be donating $25,000 to the National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum in Fort Worth.
"As we celebrate the 35th Anniversary of the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo, Crown Royal has been such an amazing partner in joining our mission of uplifting the Black cowboys and cowgirls who have impacted the culture in and out of Fort Worth," said Margo Wade-LaDrew, Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo National Development & Marketing Director, "And we look forward to the inaugural procession this Juneteenth weekend through the streets of the stockyards."
In honor of the storytellers, historians, photographers, and more that preserve and share the iconic cowboy culture, Crown Royal will announce Ms. Opal Lee as one of the first Royal Rider award recipients for her commitment and efforts in making Juneteenth a national holiday.