The African American Racers Association (AARA) wants to give special acknowledgment to Leonard W. Miller, Ron Hines, Eugene Gadson, and Charles Singleton, the founders of the Black American Racers Association.
The Black American Racers Association (BARA) was founded in August 1972 in Trenton, New Jersey. It was formed to give recognition to black racing drivers, crews, mechanics, car owners, and other members of the auto racing community and corporations that help promote black racing development. BARA’s goals were to publicize to the American public the all but forgotten achievements of blacks in racing, to interest minority youth in racing-oriented careers, and to increase black spectator interest in motorsports. Also, educating BARA’s membership in building successful racing teams, reducing sponsorship inequities facing black racers and their teams, and supporting the continuation and growth of racing in general. BARA ceased operations six years later with over 5,000 members.
AARA founders Sinclair Gordon & Christopher Harris discovered the BARA while watching the Willie T. Ribbs documentary called “Uppity.” This sparked a reoccurring conversation between the two about the lack of diversity in motorsports. They wondered why an organization like this no longer existed and decided right then and there to create one.
While we understand that motorsports have come a long way, it still has so much further to go. Without the blueprint and determination of the individuals that have come before us, we wouldn’t have the opportunity to follow in their footsteps and live our passions. The BARA provided a platform and a voice for so many racers. They inspired blacks in motorsports to push forward against all odds. Even to this day, they inspire the following generations of black motorsport enthusiasts. The AARA vows to continue the work that the Black American Racers Association started. We will highlight the accomplishments of African Americans in motorsports as well as those individuals who exercise inclusion. We will grow education platforms and create opportunities through networking and scholarship programs. We will push the culture and improve the climate of motorsports!