African-Americans have always been a part of cruise and car culture.
For many car enthusiasts, there's nothing quite like the unwinding of an open highway. The Woodward Dream Cruise serves as a reminder of the potency of car culture in the Motor City and displays the hottest rides around town. Consultant Marcus Amick, an Ohio native who divides his time between California and occasionally Detroit, says there's a large number of African-Americans who are just as passionate about automobiles as their white counterparts, yet, "I do think that there could be more done to make car shows like the Woodward Dream Cruise a bit more inclusive."
Amick fondly recalls his own participation in the Woodward Dream Cruise in 2014 when he had an opportunity to drive one of the first models of the 707-horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat to the event with a friend. He adds: "It was literally like we'd rolled up with Tony Stark, in the flesh. We even had people offering to move their car so we could park it in a prime spot. It was crazy."
Greg Dunmore, a Detroit-based multimedia journalist and executive producer of PulseBeat.TV, an entertainment show that airs on WMYD TV20, says that African-Americans have always participated in cruise culture. "There are lots of blacks who are car lovers and have created communal groups – car clubs like the vet (Corvette) club. Blacks have a long history of attracting like-minded African-American car enthusiasts," Dunmore says.
Notable classic car events with an African-American focus include local attorney Greg Reed's Cruise'IN the D Car Expo and Classic Women Whips & Wheels, which help to reinforce black engagement with cars. Yes, it does exist, and you don't necessarily have to squint or get up close to see it. "Detroiters love our cars and stars," Dunmore says. "The Woodward Dream Cruise is a wonderful excuse to people watch, car ogle and party – and, of course, cruise. There's nothing more relaxing than a cool breeze and a cool car and the Dream Cruise is all about being cool in the most casual and comfortable way."
Woodward Dream Cruise • Aug. 18