D.L. Chandler, NEWSONE
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (NewsOne) — The Atlantic Beach Bikefest, otherwise known as Black Bike Week, is the largest African-American motorcycle rally event in the nation and one of the largest such events overall. Thousands of Black motorcycle enthusiasts flock to Myrtle Beach, S.C. yearly, turning the beach town into an epicenter of fashion and entertainment for the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
However, many attendees of Black Bike Week have alleged mistreatment from local businesses and authorities, citing that a predominately-White biker event, the Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Rally, treats its revelers with a differing layer of regard.
This large racial divide between two of the largest bike rallies in the nation has prompted the NAACP to monitor occurrences of discrimination and related allegations via its “Operation Bike Week Justice” event. For its ninth year, the Operation, led by the NAACP South Carolina State Conference and local branch leaders, are taking notice of police activity and how Black visitors to Myrtle Beach are treated. Along with that expanded level of scrutiny, the Operation will also tally how local businesses treat Black patrons and monitor traffic patterns.