During all month of February, the Harley-Davidson Museum celebrates the evolution of motorcycle culture through the eyes of African American riders. Individuals who shaped this long and proud history are highlighted through memorabilia and first-hand accounts.
“African Americans have influenced and helped shape motorcycle culture throughout our history. Riding culture is seen differently today because of their numerous contributions to it,” said John Comissiong, director of African American outreach marketing, Harley-Davidson Motor Company. “We’re number one in sales to African Americans, and not only are we very proud of our shared history, we’re always looking for new stories to tell.”
The exhibit is featuring the stories of some of these highly influential trail blazers, images of Harley-Davidson legends like William B. Johnson, the first African American Harley-Davidson dealer; Bessie Stringfield, the first known African American woman to ride solo cross-country on a Harley motorcycle in the 1930s and 1940s; and Ben Hardy, the custom builder who helped create one of the most famous motorcycles in the world, Captain America, for the movie Easy Rider.
Harley-Davidson supports and attends a variety of African American events to connect with current riders, such as Atlantic Beach Bike Week, Daytona Black Bike Week and the National Bikers RoundUp, where thousands of African American riders gather in the spirit of unity and in true biker form. Harley-Davidson Museum.