African American News

8 Seconds Juneteenth Rodeo Returns for Second Year, Celebrating Black Cowboy Culture

Portland, Oregon is gearing up for another unforgettable celebration of Black cowboy culture as the highly anticipated 8 Seconds Juneteenth Rodeo makes its return for its second year. Founded by Portland-based photojournalist Ivan McClellan, this groundbreaking event promises a thrilling blend of rodeo competitions, music, food, and family fun, all set to take place at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum on June 16, 2024, from 3:00 PM to 10:00 PM.

With last year’s inaugural event drawing a sold-out crowd of 2,500, this year’s rodeo is set to be even bigger, with an expected attendance of 7,200 eager spectators. The prize money has also seen a significant increase, totaling $60,000, making this event not only a cultural celebration but also a highly competitive showcase of talent.

McClellan’s journey into the world of Black cowboy culture began in 2015 when he experienced a Black rodeo in Okmulgee, Oklahoma. Inspired by the fusion of hip hop, Black church culture, and the Western world, McClellan embarked on a mission to document and promote this extraordinary aspect of American heritage. His upcoming photobook, “Eight Seconds: Black Rodeo Culture,” is a testament to his dedication to showcasing the rich history and traditions of Black cowboys and cowgirls.

Top Black rodeo athletes from across the nation, including names like Tre Hosley, London Gladney, and Tank Adams, will be traveling to Portland to compete in thrilling events such as bull riding, barrel racing, steer wrestling, and mutton busting. The rodeo aims to not only entertain but also educate attendees about the significant contributions of Black cowboys and cowgirls to American history.

Major brands like Crown Royal and Tecovas have stepped up to sponsor the event, highlighting their commitment to supporting diverse communities and uplifting Black voices. Crown Royal’s Vice President, Hadley Schafer, expressed their honor in partnering with McClellan for the rodeo, emphasizing the importance of celebrating the heritage, athleticism, and grit of Black cowboys and cowgirls.

Beyond the competition, the 8 Seconds Juneteenth Rodeo offers a plethora of activities for attendees of all ages, including live music by DJ O.G.ONE, small business vendors from the Portland community, exciting social media activations and giveaways, an elevated VIP experience, roping lessons, and even a mechanical bull.

The support from organizations like the Oregon Community Foundation and Travel Portland further underscores the positive impact of the rodeo on the local community and tourism industry.

As the date of the rodeo approaches, anticipation continues to build, with Portland residents and visitors alike eagerly awaiting this vibrant celebration of Black excellence in rodeo.


The return of the 8 Seconds Juneteenth Rodeo marks not only a celebration of Black cowboy culture but also a testament to the resilience and creativity within the Black community. Events like these serve as powerful platforms for reclaiming narratives, celebrating heritage, and showcasing talent. Ivan McClellan’s vision and dedication have brought this vibrant aspect of American history to the forefront, reminding us of the rich diversity that shapes our nation. As we come together to enjoy the festivities, let us also reflect on the importance of supporting and uplifting Black voices in every facet of society.

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