Black race car drivers were largely absent from pro racing’s spotlight for years–that is until the formation of the Black American Racers Association in August 1972. Based in Trenton, New Jersey the main goal was to bring together and give a platform to Black drivers, mechanics, pit crews, and team owners.
The founders included Eugene Gadson, Ron Hines, the first chairman Leonard W. Miller, and Charles Singleton.
Goals of the Black American Racers Association
The BARA also aimed to encourage an interest in racing in young people and educate everyone about Black achievement in motorsport. The Association also wanted to establish a number of Black-owned and operated racing teams and get those teams sponsorship.
For those looking to become members of the Black American Racers Association, a lifetime membership was $100 while a regular or annual one was $10. With this came discounts at auto stores, patches, and an industry newsletter which provided history and recent news.
The BARA would host a race in March 1974 featuring a number of the Black drivers of drag racing. The race also served to spotlight a number of Black-owned and operated teams of the 1970s. It would also draw 25,000 to Englishtown, New Jersey.
The Black American Racers Association would end operations in 1978. In 2017, co-founder and owner of Black American Racers, Inc. donated BAR memorabilia to the Smithsonian.