Frost Illustrated Feb. 7, 2007
“Soul on Bikes: The East Bay Dragons MC and the Black Biker Set is a fascinating biography of a fascinating black man and an equally fascinating black movement.”
From the Publisher
The East Bay Dragons Motorcycle Club has gunned its Harleys through the meanest streets of Oakland, Calif., since the 1950s. While Rosa Parks took her historic bus ride, before Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X and Huey P. Newton and the Black Panthers stood bravely for equal rights, the East Bay Dragons MC risked life and limb during the days when it was a revolutionary act for a black man to ride a Harley chopper.
Here's a slice of underground American and African-American history you're unlikely to read in any history book. Tobie Gene Levingston and his colorful cast of misfits and comrades are an all-black, all-Harley, all-chopper group of motorcyclists who have found more than their fair share of violence and redemption on the battlegrounds of urban America.
Headquartered in Oakland, California, the East Bay Dragons exist alongside the Hell's Angels and the Oakland Raiders, securing their place as modern urban folk heroes. Starting out in the 1950s as a car club, Tobie Gene and the Dragons switched to two wheels and encountered street scuffles, rival clubs, ethnic stereotypes, police misconduct, and racial tensions. Their legacy is an untold portion of African-American history. From his humble beginnings as the son of a poor sharecropper, Tobie Gene became the founder and president of the nation's most elite exclusively black motorcycle club. Soul on Bikes recounts the club's adventures with humor, attitude, and most important, soul.