WORLD OF SOUL MOTORCYCLE COMMUNITY

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Honoring Black History in Motorcycling - Bessie Stringfield

Bessie Stringfield (February 9, 1911 – February 16, 1993), nicknamed "The Motorcycle Queen of Miami", was the first African-American woman to ride across the United States solo, and during World War II she served as one of the 

few motorcycle dispatch riders for the United States military.

Credited with breaking down barriers for both women and Jamaican-American motorcyclists, Stringfield was inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame the award bestowed by the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) for "Superior Achievement by a Female Motorcyclist" is named in her honor.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bessie_Stringfield

In the 1930s, Bessie Stringfield practically disappeared in a cloud of smoke, bolting across the walls of a wooden, bowl-shaped arena: the Wall of Death. She was on her way across the country, traveling completely alone—again—on a Harley. Bessie Stringfield, an African-American Bostonian originally from Jamaica, had already earned a title that would be given to her years later: “The Motorcycle Queen.” From 1929 until her death in 1993, she rode her motorcycle around the Americas, defying several stereotypes about what black women could do.

At first, riding a motorcycle across the country might seem on the low end of remarkable acts, but in the 1930s, especially for a black woman, that was not so. Stringfield rode across the country on a motorcycle only 10 years after women gained the right to vote. And the roads were not the smooth, friendly lifelines that snake across the country today; Stringfield traveled before many roads were paved—the American interstate highway system wouldn’t even be proposed until 1956.  If she was traveling through Arkansas in the middle of the day and broke down? Stringfield had to be her own mechanic.  Read the full story here at https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/bessie-stringfield-motorcycle...;

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