by Tobie Levingston
Published by Motorbooks April 2004
When Sonny Barger formed the Oakland Hell’s Angels in 1957, a few miles up East 14th Street in East Oakland a young black bike rider from Louisiana named Tobie Gene Levingston was soon to follow in Barger’s footsteps. The two knew and respected each other and had ridden their Harleys together in the same East Bay neighborhood.
In 1959, Tobie Gene organized the Dragons, a loosely knit, all-black men’s club, one of the first of its kind. The Dragons’ earliest incarnation began as an all-black car club. It originally stemmed from Tobie Gene’s big brother role to keep his younger brothers and friends occupied and out of trouble. The Dragons became ten strong, including members like MacArthur, Hooker, Tobie’s brothers Joe Louis and Jonas, Baby Joe, Sam and Cousin Rabbit. Tobie Gene became the East Bay Dragons’ MCs first and only president, still reigning and riding after forty-four years.
Tobie Gene Levingston was born in Tallulah, Louisiana. He founded the East Bay Dragons car club in Oakland, California, which eventually became the East Bay Dragons MC, one of the nation’s leading all-black, Harley-only, motorcycle clubs. Tobie Gene has been the sole president of the East Bay Dragons MC since the club’s formation in 1959.