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

About the Author / Contact Ann

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 author of Hear Me Roar: Women, Motorcycles and the Rapture of the Road (NY: Crown, 1996) and as the biographer of Bessie Stringfield.

In 1990, when Bessie Stringfield entrusted her life story to Ann Ferrar, thus began Ann's work to record Bessie's oral history and to write the first original stories on Ms. Stringfield, who had been overlooked by black and women's history. Ann's seminal stories on Bessie are the foundation for most of what is known about Bessie today. Ann's next book African American Queen of the Road—The Untold Story of Bessie Stringfield, A Memoir of Resilience and the Road (in progress) is painting the deeper portrait of Bessie that readers have requested. 

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. She met Bessie Stringfield at the start of those journeys.

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."

Over the years, the author has been consulted for her expertise in women's motorcycling history and for her knowledge of Bessie 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.

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 Lower Manhattan for many years. She still lives in the Northeastern United States.