Saturday, October 27, 2012

STRONG IS SEXY Woman of the Past: Bessie Stringfield

I want to introduce you to a woman named Bessie Stringfield. She was an African American motorcycle dispatch rider during World War II, a licensed practical nurse, the founder of Iron Horse Motorcycle Club, and was labeled "Motorcycle Queen of Miami" and "Negro Motorcycle Queen." She was inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2002. She was the first African American woman to ride across the U.S. solo.

Photo found on AMA Motorycle Hall of Fame.
Please continue there for more information.
Link below.
Born in Jamaica, brought to the States, and orphaned at the age of five, she was raised by an Irish lady, name not divulged. I don't really understand that, but that's what miscellaneous articles say. She got her first motorbike at 16, an Indian Scout, and owned at least 27 motorbikes throughout her lifetime.

She was very religious, a very devout Catholic, and felt the "man upstairs" was with her as she rode fearlessly through the Jim Crow south. When she was  19, she began to throw a penny on a map and where it landed, that's where she went. She not only ran into racial tension, but was discriminated against because of her sex, often being denied prizes even though she beat the men riders in whatever competition it was.

Despite having married and divorced six times, she had no children. (She lost three.) She, like me, was a dog mom.

Why I admire her: That's darned brave. Not only did she conquer riding a motorbike (I kept falling over on mine!) but she faced racism AND gender discrimination. I don't think I could have continually entered contests, only to be disqualified for having a pair of breasts. At some point, that would have grown incredibly disheartening to me. Not to mention, losing three children. Many women can't overcome that, let alone become a trailblazer for both their race and gender.

She passed away at the age of 82, riding up till the day she passed.

The AMA created an award in honor of her, for "women who have been instrumental in showing other women they can be active participants in the world of motorcycling."

More references:

I hope you enjoyed this first installment of the Strong is Sexy Saturdays. This is a compilation of cool data I found about an extremely strong and sexy woman.

So, 'til next Saturday, strut your stuff, don't take no grief, and remember that STRONG IS SEXY.

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