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A Bike Hike in 1975: A slice of American history, plus resources for change

On the heels of Flag Day (June 14) 2020, a 1975 scene from a documentary produced by Bill Moyers in 1976 is getting renewed attention. It offers yet another way to deepen our understanding of our nation’s history and current climate. View it below.

“We called them bike hikes. We were just going out to go explore.”—Mark Blagrove

“That day, the American Flag was the image, the symbol, that pulled us into that situation. We live in America. The American Flag means good things. It means that we can go anywhere we want to go, we can ride our bike down any street in America. But it really represented a symbol of ‘Do not enter.’ So they took that beautiful image and turned it into something ugly for me. And I want the Flag back.”—Renee Lipscomb McDonald

Details: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/21/nyregion/racist-video-rosedale-queens.html

The simple desire of those children to explore their world by bicycle in 1975 is very much like my own childhood, exploring by bike in my hometown (“I could easily bike its entire length, and did.”)

Yet the situation they unexpectedly faced—only because their skin was black— contrasts sharply with the freedom and joy of my own experiences out exploring by bike as a white child.

Here’s to all of us finding new ways to help end racism in America. Check out some related resources below.

Above: Residents and visitors biking in Monterey County.

Monterey County population estimates, as of 1 July 2019, indicate 3.5% of the residents are Black or African American alone (source: https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/montereycountycalifornia).

A partial list of related resources:

From Monterey Public Library—California’s first library:

https://myemail.constantcontact.com/Juneteenth–Summer-Reading–Sidewalk-Service.html?soid=1102643129353&aid=HnHbWqhvIVY

Monterey County Free Libraries
https://www.co.monterey.ca.us/Home/Components/News/News/7397/9661?backlist=%2fgovernment%2fdepartments-i-z%2flibrary

This post was published on 21 June 2020.

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