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Bessie Stringfield│Biography, Memoir, African American, Gender
The Original Stories of the Courageous Black Woman Who Rode Across America

Biographer Ann Ferrar / Contact

Journalist and author Ann Ferrar is an accomplished writer of narrative non-fiction. Her motorcycle lifestyle articles have been published in The New York Times. Her feature stories on women's issues and eclectic human interest subjects have been published in national women's magazines, newspaper syndicates and online venues. She is best known as the biographer of Bessie Stringfield and the author of the groundbreaking Hear Me Roar: Women, Motorcycles and the Rapture of the Road (NY: Crown Trade Paperbacks, 1996; NH: Whitehorse Press, 2000).

 

The author has two forthcoming books. The first one, Reflections on Bessie Stringfield and the 100 Women Bikers of Hear Me Roar, comes out in 2020 as a 25th anniversary edition, with expanded stories from the original. The second book, devoted entirely to Bessie, is African American Queen of the Road—The Untold Story of Bessie Stringfield, A Memoir of Resilience and the Road. Both books will expand upon Ferrar's story "Bessie B. Stringfield: The Color Blue." This narrative written by the author for Hear Me Roar  introduced Bessie to the world and sparked the global fascination with Bessie that exists to this day.

 

There is much more to Bessie's life story that Ferrar has never published, hence the untold aspects of the second book. Ann met Bessie at the start of her research and road trips for Hear Me Roar, and during the many years since, the author has explored other hidden areas known only to Bessie and Ann. The author's private tapes of Bessie—the only sound recordings of Bessie Stringfield in existence—reside in the U.S. Library of Congress but are not available to the public.

Ann rode her own motorcycles for 18 years, owning six different bikes ranging from Hondas to BMWs. She began riding in her native New York City and became an assertive urban biker and a long-distance solo rider. 

To research and write Hear Me Roar between 1990 and 1995, the author interviewed scores of women bikers, rode tens of thousands of miles around America alone, and was a participant-observer in dozens of motorcycle rallies and other biker events. Ferrar, with her background in journalism and her passion for women's studies, was the first to chronicle this little-known facet of women's mobility and gender role-reversal in the 20th century. Hear Me Roar  was critically acclaimed and covered by The New York Times, CNN, Entertainment Weekly and other media outlets. 

Over the years, Ferrar has been consulted for her expertise on the early history of women bikers, particularly for her unparalleled knowledge of Ms. Stringfield for PBS and History Channel documentaries and for college and library talks. In 2002, the author was asked by the American Motorcycle Hall of Fame to adapt "Bessie B. Stringfield: The Color Blue" for the museum's website and for Bessie's induction speech at the Hall of Fame ceremony. 

 

Born and raised in South Brooklyn, the author is an alumna of Brooklyn College, City University of New York. A member of the Authors Guild, Ann lived in Manhattan for many years. She still lives in the Northeastern United States.

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