Black Beach/White Beach: A tale of two beaches

2017

Documentary

0
IMDb Rating 6.7 10 22

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Uploaded by: FREEMAN

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Reviewed by larrys3 6 / 10

A Tale of Two Festivals

I picked up a copy of this DVD from my local library. At about an hour in length, the documentary centers on 2 motorcycle festivals in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, a week apart during the Memorial Day time period

One bike festival, called Harley Week, is comprised mostly of white bikers, while the other festival, called Black Bike Week, is comprised mostly of black bikers. Estimates in the film have about 30,000 bilkers attending Harley Week, with 300,000 bikers coming in for Black Bike Week.

One of the main points the movie, which is directed by Ricky Kelly, tries to make is that the attendees at Black Bike Week are not treated equally to those coming to Harley Week. An enormous police presence of about 700 officers are sent to Myrtle Beach from all over South Carolina, leading to accusations that the black motorcyclists are being intimidated and harassed. The bikers are also confined to a 23 mile one-way traffic loop which causes loads of frustration, not only for the bikers but for tourists and local citizens. Finally, there are complaints that local businesses jack up their prices and set up stricter rules to follow during Black Biker Week.

There is also in the doc an interesting piece on the history of neighboring Atlantic Beach (from what I read is now mostly annexed by North Myrtle Beach) and the role it played in South Carolina during the height of segregation. The town was booming then and was one place African-Americans could safely visit and enjoy the beaches and hotels there. Even the black entertainers who were performing in Myrtle Beach had to go back to Atlantic Beach to sleep due to segregation laws. Ironically, as segregation has decreased over the years the town of Atlantic Beach has suffered economically .

Overall, I thought this film made its point in a verbose but clear way, and with a new mayor elected in Myrtle Beach in November 2017 it will remain to be seen if any changes are made. To note, subtitles were available on the DVD and there are brief shots of upper female nudity in the film.

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