Black Bike Week is a yearly motorcycle event held at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina during Memorial Day weekend. Its other names include Atlantic Beach Bikefest and Black Bikers Week. The event is touted as the largest African-American motorcycle gathering in the United States, with attendance reaching up to half a million every year. Activities at the event include motorcycle racing, street festivals, parties and concerts.
Black Bike Week started in the early 1980s in Atlantic Beach, South Carolina and was founded by the Flaming Knight Riders motorcycle club, which changed its name to the Carolina Knight Riders after receiving a charter in 1982. Back then, the area was the only beach in the state where African-Americans were allowed. Over the years, the bikers began to congregate more in Myrtle Beach instead of Atlantic Beach, until eventually, Myrtle Beach became the official site of the event. By the 1990s, predominantly African-American bikers and revelers from the greater Myrtle Beach area began to participate in the event as well.
The annual event has gained some notoriety over the years, with massive traffic jams, gun violence and lewd sexual conduct becoming some of the most prominent issues. Nevertheless, the originators are glad that Black Biker Week has grown into the huge social event that it is today, and are working with the local administration to ensure a more peaceful and safe environment for the gathering.