One Revolution at a Time.
The reason we started SnR in 2010 is not the reason it exists today. You see, back then we were naive in thinking that we had to show how exceptional black and brown children are.
After two years of advocating for youth in the school district, we were still asking, “Who were the kids falling through the cracks?”
Because every year kids were graduating unprepared. To me, it was like bodies being pushed off a cliff. Endlessly.
In a conversation with a school board member, I was told “the school district is like a cruise ship. It doesn’t turn on a dime. It takes a long time to make a significant change”.
Soon we formed Spoke’n Revolutions and our first tour was the Underground Railroad. Taking youth on a cross country bike ride over 1000 miles that linked history with community service.
During that first tour we learned it wasn’t about the achievement of biking a great distance. It also wasn’t about proving their worth. The only person who needed proof was the youth.
We saw transformation when they learned history told from the perspective of people of color. People surviving and making a way regardless of the odds against them. With these historic personal achievements, they were seeing themselves for the first time.
We bore witness to changing attitudes, unhealthy diets becoming healthier habits, and greater self-confidence.
We adults came away with the core idea: Given the opportunity, anyone can succeed.
Today the youth lead us on many cross country bike tours based on historic spaces covering over 7000 miles and counting.
Making a Proof Point
Seven youth took a chance and trained to bike 60 miles in the Cycle North Carolina Coastal Ride. This fun-filled 3-day weekend was their first introduction to organized cycling.
Taking to the Road
After the Cycle North Carolina Coastal Ride nine youth decided to do something greater. As if 60 miles wasn’t enough of an accomplishment they chose to cycle 1,500 miles over 32 days along a route of the Underground Railroad from Mobile, AL to Niagara Falls, NY.
Inspired by their experiences on the Underground Railroad Tour, the youth set out to discover the west and followed the reverse path of the Buffalo Soldiers from the 25th Infantry Army Bicycle Corps of 1897 when they journeyed from Missoula, MT to St. Louis, MO. The youth started in Council Bluffs, IA and cycled all the way to Crescent City, CA with a 10 day stay in Yellowstone National Park.
The last of the 30+ day tours, the Bikes, Blues, and Jazz tour took the youth along the Mississippi River Trail as they delved into the roots of today’s popular music.
Partnering with The B.R.A.G. Dream Team, our friends in Atlanta, the youth undertook our first two-week tour cycling from Atlanta, GA to Washington DC. Aptly named King to King the youth linked the King Historic Site in Atlanta to King Memorial in D.C.
Partnering with The B.R.A.G. Dream Team again, the youth cycled from Durham, NC to Armstrong, FL (just south of St. Augustine) traveling and learning along the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor.
2016 marks the year the youth come full circle and begin the model of repeating tours. With three tours considered safe, navigatable, and solid the northern portion of the 2011 Underground Railroad tour was completed. The route is from Maysville, KY to Niagara Falls, NY.
Trail of Tears Tour
Gathering from the experiences of the Tour of Discovery the youth wanted to understand the devastation the forced removal caused on First Nation People.
Bikes, Water & Soul Tour
Staying within the beautiful state of North Carolina the youth cycled from home, to the coast, and back thru the historic former town of Soul City, NC
Bikes, Water & The Big Muddy Tour
Recreating the Bikes, Blues, and Jazz tour of 2013 the youth rode along the Mighty Mississippi River as they delved into the roots of today’s popular music and regional history of the environment.
Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor
Recreating the Gullah Geechee tour of 2015 the youth rode along the East Coast Greenway from Carrboro to St. Augustine, FL. Learning of the Gullah and Geechee people and culture along America’s eastern coast.
SPOKE’N REVOLUTIONS YOUTH CYCLING