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Black Beach White Beach: Myrtle Beach Still Divided

Each Memorial Day weekend hundreds of thousands of African-American motorcyclists gather at Myrtle Beach for what is affectionately called “Black Bike Week.” The event brings in more than $40 million to the greater Myrtle Beach area.

Yet in 2014, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley called for the event to be halted. Local police have also repeatedly set up a 23-mile traffic loop to control the crowd. In seeming contrast, the beach welcomes bikers with open arms for the annual Harley event, which takes place the week before.

Filmmaker Ricky Kelly joins host Frank Stasio to talk about his documentary “Black Beach/White Beach: A Tale of Two Beaches.” It explores the history of Atlantic Beach Bike Festival, aka “Black Bike Week,” and why one of the Myrtle Beach motorcycle events is celebrated and the other is monitored by the NAACP. 

The film screens at the Hayti Heritage Film Festival in Durham on Friday, Feb. 16. It will also be screened at Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro on Sunday, Feb. 18.

Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
Dana is an award-winning producer who began as a personality at Rock 92. Once she started creating content for morning shows, she developed a love for producing. Dana has written and produced for local and syndicated commercial radio for over a decade. WUNC is her debut into public radio and she’s excited to tell deeper, richer stories.
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