by Hilario Muhammad
PHOENIX—The Protocol Department of Muhammad Mosque No. 32 in Phoenix organized an outing for the Believers at the Invitational Arizona Black Rodeo, held this year at the beautiful arena of Westworld in Scottsdale, Arizona. The outing was organized for the M.G.T. and G.C.C. to spend an evening of sisterhood in a safe, family environment.
The sisters dressed in unity with special shirts with Muhammad Mosque No. 32 printed on the sleeves and with the Invitational Arizona Black Rodeo on the front. Matching red cowgirl boots and Stetson hats were on full display, along with red neck scarves. Student Minister Abdul Imam Muhammad, of Mosque No. 32 attended along with the F.O.I. to secure the sisters and children.
Student M.G.T. Captain Zanitra X also attended and shared what impacted her about seeing Black men and women perform and demonstrate various skills at the rodeo.“Our years in chattel slavery and the hardships we faced during our time sharecropping led us to leave the land and seek employment in the city.
The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches us in “Message to the Blackman in America” that this was a clever plan to discourage his people from wanting to own producing land and to cause a great dislike within us for having anything to do with tiling, cultivating, extracting, and producing for ourselves,” she explained.
“Watching the Black men and women display their love for it showed me that we can love working the land again and unite with the goal of becoming a free and independent people. This is a great opportunity for the Ministry of Agriculture to form relationships with local ranches and farmers to train the community in agribusiness,” said Sister Zanitra X. After the visit, Student Captain Zanitra X said the trip also inspired in the Jr. M.G.T., the desire to learn more and visit the Black-owned ranches and farms in Arizona.
One of the Black-owned farms in Phoenix that has inspired many Believers and others near South Mountain is Isaiah’s Place. This farm is the brainchild of Sister Lisa Muhammad and is named for her late son Isaiah. On this property, there is livestock, including alpacas, lambs, goats, and cows, to name a few. Sister Lisa expressed her love for agriculture and The Arizona Black Rodeo. She shared how she loves seeing the Believers enjoying themselves watching the rodeo events.
Sister Starla Muhammad, one of Sister Lisa’s daughters, performed in the opening ceremony of The Arizona Black Rodeo. Sister Starla also volunteers with an organization that gives all riders who come, a chance to learn horsemanship at Robinson Ranch. At Robinson Ranch, riders with disabilities get an opportunity to experience horseback riding and benefit from the therapeutic experience it provides. Robinson Ranch is among many Black-owned organizations that support the Invitational Arizona Black Rodeo.
Attendees can learn about the history of the Buffalo Soldiers. The Buffalo Soldiers of America Inc. was founded in Arizona in 2009 by founder and president Chaz Jackson. The organization’s mission is to carry on the legacy and history and traditions of the Buffalo Soldiers from 1866-1948 and to preserve all historic Buffalo Soldiers sites, buildings, and/or foundations. The Buffalo Troopers Motorcycle Club and its many chapter members came from all over the country to also show support for their fellow riders and participants in this year’s Black Rodeo.
The events included steer wrestling, tie-down roping, relay races, ladies’ barrel racing, and the show closer, was bull riding! Many vendors were selling their goods and services. Brother Terrance Muhammad of the Ministry of Agriculture of Mosque No. 32 operated the information table. Student Secretary Michaele Muhammad and the secretary staff hosted the mosque vendor table, which included books of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad and The Final Call newspaper.
The Invitational Arizona Black Rodeo which was held on September 3, is produced by Lanette and Clovis Campbell of The Arizona Informant, a historic Black-owned newspaper. Ms. Campbell was a coordinator for the Bill Pickett Rodeo. Understanding that the Bill Pickett Rodeo was not an annual event based on ticket sales Ms. Campbell, an Arizona native, knew there was a niche market and a need for an annual rodeo geared toward Black people.
The first annual Invitational Arizona Black Rodeo was in 2011. The community has deeply embraced this rodeo, and the Arizona Black Rodeo is the flagship event of the Black Rodeo USA’s tour. The success of the Invitational Arizona Black Rodeo helped launch Black Rodeo USA. This year’s tour included the Tennessee Black Rodeo, Jacksonville Black Rodeo, Florida Black Rodeo, and Las Vegas Black Rodeo.
If you have not yet experienced a Black rodeo, this is an incredible opportunity to go and have a great time learning about ourselves and seeing our people in a new light while having fun with our family. For more information, visit @AZBlackRodeo on Twitter or https://azblackrodeo.wixsite.com/azbr