From Library Journal
A U.S. postal stamp bearing African American cowboy Bill Pickett's name but his brother Ben's picture recently created a furor in the stamp-collecting community and inadvertently rescued Bill Pickett from obscurity. Known as the "Dusky Demon," Pickett rose from ranch hand to rodeo star in the early 1900s by bulldogging steers with his trademark "bite 'em" style. Johnson, an editor at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, sketches Pickett's relationships with professional managers and traces his movements on the national and international Wild West circuit. Moving beyond the scope of the only other available biography, Bailey C. Haines's Bill Pickett, Bulldogger: The Biography of a Black Cowboy (1977), Johnson joins the Pickett legend with the philatelic controversy. Recommended for general readers and collections on African Americans in the West.Brenda M. Brock, Univ. at Buffalo, N.Y.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Bill Pickett is arguably the best-known black cowboy of all time. The U.S. Postal Service recently honored him by inclusion in their Winners of the West postage series; the controversy caused when his brother's picture was mistakenly used and then corrected was a major news story. Pickett invented the sport of bulldogging, which with modifications is to this day a main rodeo event. He not only worked as a cowboy, but also exhibited his many skills in Wild West show arenas throughout the world and is the only black cowboy inducted into the National Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City. Pickett has been the subject of numerous articles and previous books, but this is a fresh perspective. It is unfortunate that no source notes are provided, since there are many disagreements with regard to the facts surrounding this legendary cowboy. A welcome addition to both western and black history. Fred Egloff