black harley ridersBy Ashley Michelle Williams

When most people think of Harley-Davidson, they rarely associate the name with blacks. The stereotypical motorcycle enthusiast is a bearded, vaguely intimidating white man sporting sunglasses and a leather jacket.


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However, Harley-Davidson has recently tried to upend this stereotype by getting more blacks engaged in the riding culture through an exhibition on the evolution of black bikers, which was kicked off in honor of Black History Month.

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Some of the company’s most historic black bikers include William B. Johnson, who was the first African-American Harley dealer; Bessie Stringfield, who was the first black woman to ride solo across the country; and Benny Hardy, who was an influential motorcycle club leader. They were all a part of what the company calls the Iron Elite; a list of African-American motorcycle riding legends.

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