The East Bay Dragons Motorcycle Club have gunned their Harleys through the mean streets of Oakland, California since the 1950s. While Rosa Parks took her historic bus ride, and as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X and Huey P. Newton and the Black Panthers stood bravely for equal rights, the East Bay Dragons MC risked life and limb during days when a black man riding a Harley chopper was a revolutionary act.
Here's a slice of underground American and African-American history you're unlikely to read in any history book. Tobie Gene Levingston and his colorful cast of comrades are an all-black, all-Harley, all-chopper group of motorcyclists who have found more than their fair share of violence and redemption on the battlegrounds of urban America.
Headquartered in Oakland, California the East Bay Dragons have secured their place as modern urban folk heroes alongside the Hell's Angels, the Oakland Raiders, and the Black Panthers. Starting out in the 1950's as a car club, Tobie Gene and the Dragons switched to two wheels and encountered street scuffles, rival clubs, ethnic stereotypes, police misconduct, and racial tensions. Their legacy is an untold portion of African-American history. From his humble beginnings as the son of a poor sharecropper, Tobie Gene became the founder and president of the nation's most elite exclusively black motorcycle club.