Today's Articles

People, Locations, Episodes

Fri, 10.03.1879

Jesse Stahl, Cowboy, and Rodeo Star born

Jesse Stahl

*The birth of Jesse Stahl in 1879 is celebrated on this date. He was a Black cowboy and rodeo star.

From Tennessee, Stahl, an inductee into the Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City, was a major saddle bronco rider. Although exceptionally talented, Stahl, who had a brother, Ambrose, seldom placed higher than third at the major rodeos, mainly because he was Black.  At one rodeo where he'd clearly bested his competitors, Stahl was awarded second place. Perhaps he rode a second bronco while facing backward to mock the judges. A spectacular ride by black Stahl on a previously un-ridden bucking horse called "Glass Eye" was one of the show's highlights.

He repeated his triumph by riding another notorious bucker, "Tar Baby," backward with a suitcase in his hand. Stahl retired in 1929 and was probably the most famous Black cowboy ever. Another black cowboy, Ty Stokes, and Jesse Stahl rode a bucking horse seated back to back; it was what was called "a suicide ride." The total attendance in 1912 was 4,000.

Some rodeo enthusiasts consider Jesse Stahl the greatest of all bronco riders; neither is surprising considering that approximately five thousand black cowboys rode the cattle trails in the 19th century.


National Cowboy

The Black West by William Loren Katz.
A Touchstone Book, published by Simon & Shuster Inc.
Copyright 1987, 1996 by Ethrac Publications, Inc.
ISBN 0-684-81478-1

New Poem Each Day

Poetry Corner

Black is what the prisons are, The stagnant vortex of the hours Swept into totality, Creeping in the perjured heart, Bitter in the vulgar rhyme, Bitter on the walls; Black is where the devils... THE AFRICAN AFFAIR by Bruce M. Wright.
Read More