Since May is bike month, the folks in the Gullah/Geechee Nation decided to not only encourage riding bicycles, but to also celebrate bikes that are motorized and to honor the legacy of Black bikers. To that end, on Saturday, May 4, 2019 from 3 to 6 pm, “Gullah/Geechee Bike & Beauty” will take place at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park at the intersection fo Highway 21 / Sea Island Parkway and Dr. Martin Luther King Drive on St. Helena Island. For the first time in the history of this event, there will be a a “Best of Show” (with two categories) and “Best Beauty” contest for the lady riders. Admission is free, but for the contest there is a fee.
Filmmaker Ricky Kelly has put together an outstanding new documentary, “Black Beach/White Beach.” “Black Beach/White Beach” tells the historical journey of the formation of the “Black Pearl” of the Gullah/Geechee Nation during segregation and leads you up to the on-going battle to rebuild the town and its reputation.
The “Black Pearl” is the historic Atlantic Beach Township which is north of Myrtle Beach. Although Atlantic Beach did not receive incorporation from the state of South Carolina until 1966, Gullah/Geechees owned the land on the Atlantic Ocean prior to that and started to use it as a gathering place in 1934. They opened motels, restaurants, and night clubs and by 1936 pleasure boats were anchoring at the township where Black folks could come and enjoy themselves.
May is “National Bike Month” and the Gullah/Geechee Nation is joining in the celebration! Not only are the leaders of the Gullah/Geechee Nation encouraging people to participate in “National Bike to Work Week” May 15-19, 2017, they are encouraging Gullah/Geechee and Black bike riders to cycle and cruise down to the St. Helena Community Market in the Dr. Martin L. King Memorial Park on historic St. Helena Island, SC in the Gullah/Geechee Nation on Saturday, May 20 between 10 am and 3 pm for “Gullah/Geechee Bike & Beauty.”