a drawing of a black woman doing a wheelie on a motorcycle

Bessie Stringfield: Tales of the Talented Tenth, no. 2

by Joel Christian Gill

Bessie Stringfield, the Motorcycle Queen of Miami, was a pioneer in motorcycling and led an extraordinary life. An orphan, she taught herself to ride at age 16 and was a motorcycle courier during World War II, when she became the first African American woman to ride solo across the U.S.--a trip she made eight times. She competed in and won races, but was disqualified from taking home the prize money due to racism. This graphic novel is of her life story from the loss of her parents and adoption in childhood, to her journeys across the United States during Jim Crow America as part of a traveling act and then as a civilian courier for the U.S. military, and her founding of the Iron Horse Motorcycle Club in Miami.