The Black Role in Motorcycle Culture is Celebrated

The Black Role in Motorcycle Culture is Celebrated

As Harley-Davidson celebrates 110 years, the contributions of African Americans to biking culture are being recognized.

William B. Johnson, the first Black licensed racer, was allowed into the American Motorcyclist Association, only after he was declared an American Indian, died at age 95 in 1985, and is honored in Milwaukee at the Harley-Davidson Museum, where other notable African-American bikers are enshrined.

“Harley-Davidson has a shared history with African Americans in the motorcycling community and in American history, in general, that is really amazing,” said John Commissiong, director of Harley-Davidson’s marketing outreach. “We’re seeing a lot more African Americans joining together and riding more bikes. We’re also seeing more large-scale events targeted toward African-American bikers.”