*Since director F. Gary Gray loves motorcycling almost as much as he loves making movies, its only fitting that his next project combine the two passions in a documentary that follows an epic journey on his custom Harley-Davidson.
In the video, which debuted on www.h-d.com/ironelite , Gray, the director of such box-office hits as “Friday,” “Set It Off,” and “Law Abiding Citizen,” describes riding his Harley-Davidson as a form of meditation.
“When I’m not working, I’m riding.” said Gray.
Along for the ride were three of his Harley riding friends, including actor Malcolm-Jamal Warner.
During the journey from Atlanta, GA to one of the largest annual gatherings of black bikers in Daytona Beach, Fla., Gray wore the Harley-Davidson Freedom Jacket.
Harley Davidson has riders from all around the world adorned in the Freedom Jacket while sharing their stories online to celebrate the company’s 110th Anniversary. The jacket will pass from rider to rider as it travels the globe. It will return to Milwaukee for a final celebration and display at the Harley-Davidson Museum, Labor Day weekend, Aug. 29-Sept. 1, 2013.
“The Freedom Jacket symbolizes the brotherhood between riders.” said Gray. “Adding a patch honoring the Iron Elite represents Harley’s long history with African American riders; whether you’re in a group or a single rider, we all have this unspoken bond.”
Gray joins a long line of African Americans who have contributed to the 110 year history of Harley-Davidson. Since the company’s founding in 1903, African Americans have had a defining impact on Harley-Davidson’s brand and motorcycling culture. It is a history filled with visionaries, artists, leaders and revolutionaries.
Figures like William B. Johnson, the first African American licensed by the American Motorcycle Association to race, as well as the first African American to own a Harley-Davidson dealership; Bessie Stringfield, the first black woman to ride solo cross country; and Benny Hardy, the custom bike builder who created the Captain America motorcycle for the movie “Easy Rider.”
Watch this Harley-Davidson teaser video from F. Gary Gray: