The town of Atlantic Beach is only four blocks wide and dotted with empty lots and aging motels that are reminders of a bygone era of leisure. The beachfront is wide open and undeveloped. Hurricane Hazel took down the fabled Hotel Gordon more than sixty years ago. The town feels set apart, and this has as much to do with design as it does with location. Each Memorial Day weekend, the disconnect between Atlantic Beach and nearby beach communities becomes even more obvious when the town celebrates its annual Black Bike Week. In recent years Black Bike Week has also been the subject of negative media attention, and thrown a glaring spotlight on the black and white subcultures of American bikers.
A tale of two bike weeks
A tale of two bike weeks | Al Jazeera America
As it happens, there are two motorcycle festivals held in Myrtle Beach during May. There are no traffic restrictions in place for Harley Week, although the two events are similar in size, scope and incidents, according to Anson Asaka, associate general counsel of the national NAACP and one of the attorneys in the lawsuit. The plaintiffs in the current lawsuit, the Stevensons, attended Bikefest in and were caught in the traffic loop for hours after leaving a restaurant. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports :. Later during the festival, they left a restaurant without eating because they were afraid that they would get caught in the loop again and their fear of getting caught in the mile route dictated their actions for the remainder of the festival, according to the lawsuit. Asaka, who says the NAACP has brought in legal, law enforcement and traffic experts to study and monitor both events, says that not only do businesses in Myrtle Beach close or charge higher prices during Black Bike Week, but the city also brings in hundreds of cops from all over the state during the Memorial Day weekend.
Black Bike Week and Children - Myrtle Beach Forum
Every May since has seen South Carolina's Myrtle Beach overrun with strippers, prostitutes, and gangs of kids on sports bikes, all congregating in the seaside town for a five-day party called Black Bike Week. The festivities essentially involve thousands of African American bikers from all over the US heading to the area to rag their bikes down the boardwalk, sit around and talk about their bikes, and throw non-stop parties involving lots of ass-clapping and male strippers. Weirdly, that hasn't gone down too well with the town's authorities or local tourist board—organizations that are far more accustomed to busloads of Midwestern pensioners taking photos of each other eating ice cream on the pier rather than clapping their asses and stripping in public. But the annual tradition continues uninterrupted, and this year we headed out to make a film about the whole thing.
Are we in a safe part of town? The website for Island Vista says it is in a quite residential area. Is that true?