Updated: Jul 15, 2020
We can't talk about roller skating without discussing the rich history of African American skaters, the civil rights movement within the skate community, and how African American skaters have kept skating alive.
Roller Skating is HUGE right now. We see it on TV, social media, in the press, and thanks to COVID-19 there is a world-wide roller skate shortage! This is amazing! It's so exciting to see the world discover those eight wheels for the first time. Beyond all the hype, when this eventually dies down, it will still be the thriving African American skate communities keeping skating alive.
United Skates is a documentary that, "...spotlights a community fighting in a racially charged environment to save the African-American subculture of roller skating."
I highly recommend that all new skaters who jump into the "fad" of skating check out this documentary and do some reading specifically about Black skate culture. No matter what style of skating you plan to pursue there is a history lesson and a peek into an amazing subculture of rhythm, dance, expression, and incredible talent as well as the systemic racism that forced this culture into subculture.
Follow Black Skaters and Listen to Their Stories
Many Black skaters world wide have taken to social media to express their experience with racism in and out of the skate community. Listen. Learn. Reflect. How can you be an ally? Are you actively anti-racist? We won't get it right every time but the least we can do is try to be better ourselves and use whatever privilege we have to fight for change.
Black Skaters to Follow
Instagram and TikTok are both full of incredible skate inspiration!