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The Oldest African American Motorcycle Club

In the new episode ‘From the Archives‘ by Levi’s, historian of the American denim brand Tracey Panek highlights the strong connection between their brand and motorcycle club East Bay Dragons. This is the oldest African American motorcycle club still in existence.



The History Of Motorcycle Clubs

Motorcycle clubs started after World War 2 as many army veterans were looking for the brotherhood feeling they had while serving the army. Most of these served soldiers learned to ride a motorcycle during their army period. They were cutting off the sleeves of denim jackets to create the so-called biker cuts. You can read more about this culture and history here.


The Content Of The Video

The East Bay Dragons were wearing biker vests made of leather or denim. All the denim vests were made of Levi’s, the same as most pairs of jeans while riding their bike. A few years ago members of the club visited the Levi’s archives and handed over an original vest of their club to Tracey Panek from a member who passed away.

In the new episode ‘From the Archives,’ you will see this original created vest, and you will learn also more about this motorcycle club from members of the club who are sharing their stories. Watch the new episode here;


Written by Wouter Munnichs
I'm the founder of Long John. Next to running this daily magazine, I'm working as a freelance denim specialist for the industry. Titled as 'Denim Influencer 2020' by Rivet 50. Celebrated my 10th anniversary with Long John in 2021.