Bessie Stringfield│Biography, Memoir, African American, Gender
Inside the Story of the Courageous Black Woman Who Rode Across America

About the Author / 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 and online venues. She is best known as the long-time biographer of Bessie Stringfield and the author of Hear Me Roar: Women, Motorcycles and the Rapture of the Road (NY: Crown, 1996) and the forthcoming biographical memoir African American Queen of the Road: The Untold Story of Bessie Stringfield, A Memoir of Race, Resilience and the Road.

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In 1990, when Bessie Stringfield entrusted her life story rights to Ann Ferrar, thus began Ann's work to record Bessie's oral history and to write original stories on Ms. Stringfield. Bessie was a private citizen unknown to the public and she had been overlooked even by black and women's historians. Ann's seminal written works account for most of what is known and repeated about Bessie Stringfield today; the author's stories are the spark that ignited global fascination with Bessie's life and inspiring achievements. However, there is much more to Bessie's story that Ann has never released, hence the untold aspects of the new book that Ann's readers and Bessie's fans have requested.

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Ann's next book, previewed on this website, is the upcoming African American Queen of the Road—The Untold Story of Bessie Stringfield, A Memoir of Race, Resilience and the Road. The book, in progress and well underway, is painting a deeper portrait of Bessie by combining two literary forms: biography and memoir. (This is not an endeavor in self-publishing; the fine publishing house will be announced later.) All of the author's written works on Bessie Stringfield, past and present, are copyright-registered and protected, and therefore must not be pirated, plagiarized, imitated nor adapted in any media by other parties.

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Ann met Bessie Stringfield at the start of her road trips for Hear Me Roar. In the years since then, Ann met and interviewed some of Bessie's closest contemporaries, including those who are no longer among us. In documenting the memories of those peers, and in exploring other hidden areas known only to Bessie and Ann, the author is writing a new work that cannot be written or imitated by anyone else.

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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. Hear Me Roar  was a groundbreaking book in its genre, the first to chronicle this little-known facet of women's mobility and gender role-reversal throughout the 20th century. To research and write Hear Me Roar between 1990 and 1996, the author rode tens of thousands of miles alone around America.

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Hear Me Roar was critically acclaimed and covered by The New York Times, CNN, Entertainment Weekly and other media outlets.  The author's LinkedIn page has excerpts from Hear Me Roar. Also on her LinkedIn page are some of Ann's motorcycle lifestyle articles written for The New York Times, including "Windswept Freedom on Two Fast Wheels," "Uneasy Rider" and "To Roar or Not to Roar."

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Over the years, the author has been consulted for her expertise in women's motorcycling history and for her knowledge of Ms. Stringfield for museum exhibits and segments in documentary films for PBS and the History Channel. These include Glory Road: The Legacy of the African American Motorcyclist and a series called American Biker. These films aired on PBS and The History Channel around the time of Bessie’s Hall of Fame induction; they are now on a global streaming service.

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Born and raised in South Brooklyn, the author is an alumna of Brooklyn College, City University of New York. She is a past recipient of the Hazel Kolb Brighter Image Award from the American Motorcyclist Association for Hear Me Roar. A member of the Authors Guild, Ann lived in Tribeca in Lower Manhattan for many years. She still lives in the Northeastern United States.

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Please note: While Ann welcomes correspondence from professionals and general readers, kindly note that the copyright notices posted all over this website are there for a legal purpose. Ann Ferrar's written works on Bessie Stringfield are proprietary to this author and she reserves all rights to her material, past and present. Ann's writings on Bessie Stringfield are original, primary-sourced and predate imitations and aggregates found elsewhere. The author's stories on Bessie Stringfield are all copyright-registered with the Library of Congress and are protected by law from piracy, plagiarism, unauthorized adaptations to other media and from all other forms of exploitation. The same restrictions apply to the photographs, which must not be cut and pasted elsewhere. Please respect the author's rights and the wishes of Bessie Stringfield, and comply with U.S. and International Copyright laws. Violators will be prosecuted.

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