History Magazine

Bessie Stringfield: Motorcyclist

By Gerard @presurfer
Bessie Stringfield: Motorcyclist
Bessie Stringfield (1911–1993) was an African American woman credited with breaking down barriers for both women and African American motorcyclists. She 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 despatch riders for the United States military.
The award bestowed by the American Motorcyclist Association for 'Superior Achievement by a Female Motorcyclist' is named in Bessie Stringfield's honor. She was sixteen when she learned to ride and she never looked back, becoming the first African-American woman to ride across the United States on her own. Later, she'd complete the cross-country journey several more times.

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