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Born to Be WildThe Rise of the American Motorcyclist$
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Randy D. McBee

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469622729

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469622729.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 22 September 2021

It’s a Black Thang

It’s a Black Thang

Law and (Dis)order and the African American Freedom Struggle

(p.227) 7 It’s a Black Thang
Born to Be Wild

Randy D. McBee

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter begins with the intersection of the Altamont concert in 1969 and the first blaxploitation film, Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song, and ends with the Willie Horton ad that contributed to George Bush Sr.'s election as president in 1988. Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song focused attention on the death of Meredith Hunter, a black man killed by a motorcyclist at the Altamont concert, and the Willie Horton ad was introduced to a group of motorcyclists in Virginia months before it was released to the nation. Taken together, these events highlight the role “law and order” has played in the history of motorcycling, including the relationship between the police (that is, motorcycle cops) and motorcyclists and the opposition to the civil rights and Black Power movements.

Keywords:   1969 Altamont concert, blaxploitation film, Meredith Hunter, Willie Horton ad, law and order, motorcycle cops, civil rights, Black Power

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