Black women in D.C. do ride bikes, it's true
- This picture has not been photoshopped, we swear. (Photo: Flickr/SCA Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget)
In case you were wondering whether black women ride bicycles, the Washington Post has confirmed that, yes, such people exist. Of course, any person with functioning eyes should be able to see this for themselves.
Even in the 21st century, there remain stereotypes that put African Americans at the bottom of the list of people interested in “adventurous” activities. That's why Veronica Davis and two other women started the group Black Women Bike DC. After overhearing a little girl say to her mother, “Mommy, look at that black lady on the bike,” Davis thought her group would be the perfect way to show everyone, “No see, we do bike.”
While there is a morsel of statistical truth to the stereotype — biking is indeed more popular among whites — it has become so exaggerated in D.C. that bikes are equated with white people. As the Post story says, "For some political activists and residents who had soured on former mayor Adrian M. Fenty, the freshly painted bike lanes spreading along major streets around the city became a symbol of the young white people pushing longtime black residents out of the District." (News flash: Gentrification is happening whether there are new bike lanes or not.)
Black Women Bike DC is dedicated to solving such animus and misconceptions, and these efforts shouldn't be dismissed. But should black women — or black people in general; there's no Black Men Bike DC — have to prove themselves to the biking community or society at large? I'm a black woman myself, and although I don't bike, I wouldn't feel compelled to tell the world if I did. I already know that black women bike; all I have to do is look outside while I'm riding the bus.
Then again, maybe it's a good idea to state the obvious, for the benefit of the few people who honestly believe no black women ride bikes. In which case, let me add: Black women also swim, you know.
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