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Riding with Film Director F. Gary Gray

Film director F. Gary Gray took a break from creating films, like Set It Off and Law Abiding Citizen, to make a documentary about another passion of his – motorcycles.

Gray collaborated with Harley-Davidson to make a documentary short that follows him and three of his friends, including Malcolm-Jamal Warner, on a 500-mile trip from Atlanta, GA to Daytona Beach, FL to help bring in the motor company’s 110th Anniversary.

The Friday director described riding his Harley-Davidson as meditation in the video. “When I’m not working, I’m riding,” he said.

On his journey, Gray wore a special leather jacket – the Freedom Jacket. The jacket, which is also a part of the anniversary celebration, will be passed from rider to rider as it travels the globe and return to Milwaukee for a final celebration at the Harley-Davidson Museum during Labor Day weekend.

“The Freedom Jacket symbolizes the brotherhood between riders,” Gray said. “Whether you’re in a group or a single rider, we all have this unspoken bond.”

Gray joins the long list African-American icons who have contributed to the history of Harley-Davidson since its founding in 1903, like William B. Johnson, the first African-American to own a Harley-Davidson dealership, and Bessie Stringfield, the first Black woman to ride solo cross country.

Gray’s documentary debuted online earlier this month. Watch his story and other feature about biker legends here.