Bessie Stringfield│Biography, Memoir, African American, Gender
Inside the Story 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 syndication 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 Trade Paperbacks, 1996; NH: Whitehorse Press, 2000).
.

In her forthcoming biographical memoir African American Queen of the Road: The Untold Story of Bessie Stringfield, A Memoir of Race, Resilience and the Road, the author is expanding on "Bessie B. Stringfield: The Color Blue." This short-form narrative written by Ferrar for Hear Me Roar is the story that introduced the unknown Bessie to an admiring worldwide readership.

.

In 1990, when Bessie Stringfield entrusted her life rights to Ann Ferrar, thus began Ann's work to conduct and record Bessie's exclusive oral history on tape and to write original stories on the life of Ms. Stringfield. Bessie was unknown to the public and she had been overlooked even by black and women's historians. Ann's copyrighted stories account for most of what is known about Bessie Stringfield today. The author's written and spoken works are the spark that ignited global fascination with Bessie. However, this does not mean that Bessie's life story, and the author's stories about Bessie, are in the public domain. They are not.

.

There is much more to Bessie's life story that Ann Ferrar has never published, hence the untold aspects of the forthcoming book. Ann is drawing upon the wealth of exclusive material about Bessie that is proprietary to this author. 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. Thus, Ferrar is writing an intimate, substantive book that is impossible for anyone else to imitate.

.

In African American Queen of the Road—The Untold Story of Bessie Stringfield, A Memoir of Race, Resilience and the Road, Ferrar is painting a deeper portrait of Bessie Stringfield by combining two literary forms: biography and memoir. The author's new book, her earlier narratives, and her exclusive sound recordings of Bessie are all copyright-protected. Derivative, adaptive and other imitative works on Bessie Stringfield by other parties in any media, in any format, non-fiction or fiction, are all prohibited. Please respect Ferrar's rights and properties and the wishes of her late friend and collaborator, Bessie Stringfield.

.

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. Ferrar, with her background in journalism and her passion for women's studies, produced a book that was 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 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 was the first to unearth the hidden history of early women riders from the turn of the last century. The author-biker met and spent time with then-living female pioneers of motorcycling and their descendants.

.

To discover deceased women who made their mark prior to the 1920s, Ferrar did thorough research in archives, niche museums and specialized libraries. Most significantly, Ferrar discovered, preserved and wrote the amazing hidden history of Bessie Stringfield, who was, and still is, singular even among so many other daring women. The author's forthcoming new book African American Queen of the Road is equally singular.

.

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."

.

Ferrar has been interviewed about Bessie Stringfield by media outlets ranging from The New York Times and the German magazine Der Spiegel, to Harley-Davidson's upscale Enthusiast magazine, to Broadly.vice.com, aimed at the LGBTQ community. Interest in Bessie Stringfield via Ann's stories could not get more diverse and concurrently more universal than that!

.

Over the years, Ferrar has also been consulted for her expertise on the early history of women bikers, particularly for her unparalleled knowledge of Ms. Stringfield, 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. During that period, Ferrar was also asked to speak about Bessie for PBS and History Channel programs such as Glory Road: The Legacy of the African American Motorcyclist and a series called American Biker. 

.

Born and raised in South Brooklyn, the author is an alumna of Brooklyn College, City University of New York, with concentrations in journalism and women's studies. 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 with Ruby, her rescued pit bull.
.

The author is now giving thoughtful, careful consideration to serious professional inquiries from literary management agencies and accredited AAR agents. Correspondence may be directed to the author via email or via the web submission form at the bottom. However, if you are a producer working in any media or format, please heed the copyright notice at the bottom of this site. Ann Ferrar's stories on Bessie Stringfield — including "Bessie B. Stringfield: The Color Blue," her other stories published elsewhere, and the stories on this website — are not to be used as a resource for other parties to draw from. Thank you, in advance, for respecting the author's rights and properties, as well as the wishes of Ferrar's late friend and collaborator, Bessie Stringfield.

Contact