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"A Ripple of Thunder: A History of Black Motorcyclists in America"

Collette Fournier | NY, United States

Organization: Collette Fournier Photography, Kamoinge.com

"A Ripple of Thunder: Black Motorcycle Series" "Wink "on a Motorcycle, Detroit, MI 1986 was photographed the morning after a carbaret session in a Detroit clubhouse. These folks hung out the entire night and hit the road on Sunday morning to get back to their 9 to 5 jobs.This project was done in collaboration with writer/researcher Adolph Dupree.


As a youngster, what caught freelance writer Adolph Dupree’s attention was the gentleman leading Buffalo parades. The biker was traditionally an African American motorcyclist dressed in white leather outfit with leather chaps, on an Indian Chief motorcycle. 

We focused upon that idea.

From 1984 to 1987, we documented Black Motorcycle Clubs throughout the Rochester, Buffalo and regional area.  We made the acquaintance of groups like The Afro-Dogs, The Falcons, The Omen’s, Sons of Zodiac, Buffalo Riders, Naptown Riders, Buffalo Soldiers, Candy Girls, Ebony Cruisers, El Amigos, Ladies of Elegance, Heavy Metal, Carolina Drifters, The Sunset Riders.

We proudly exhibited our researched multi-media project at Rochester’s Pyramid Art Gallery and at the CEPA Photography Gallery in Buffalo. CEPA is the Contemporary and Visual Arts Center. The multimedia exhibition included photography of Harley motorcycle, a re-creation of a decorated motorcycle club wall, leather vests, leather jackets and representative club colors.

"A Ripple of Thunder: The History of Black Motorcyclists in America" was cited as one of the best exhibitions of 1987 and acknowledged in CEPA's Winter/Spring Quarterly 1988.



© Collette Fournier, Photographer 1984-1987

© Adolph Dupree, Writer/Researcher

"To illustrate the story, of "A Ripple of Thunder: Black Motorcyclists in America", I included a giant, 32” x 38” life-sized cutout photo of the motorcycle couple Grey Wolf and girlfriend Rita and set up a shot with Afro-Dog Mose on a country road, framed to 30” x 38”. The serious and fun part of the project was documenting the footage both on 35mm and 2 ¼” film.

I recall that Kodak printed those large images for me in their industrial labs as I had a few connections from RIT who worked at Kodak. Enlarging and processing my prints at the Community Darkroom in Rochester, NY was always a labor of love and required endless energy and smooth sounds of jazz in the background. It was also my first time using Selenium toner adding permanence to the prints."

Collette Fournier Photograohy



Facebook: Judah_Fournier, Collette Fournier

IG: https://Instagram.Judah_Fournier

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