Art exhibit showcases blacks in surfing, roller-skating, and skateboarding
By Jason Lewis
Sentinel Sports Editor
Walking through the How We Roll art exhibit at the California African American Museum (CAAM), you’ll get to see black people moving by surfboard, roller skates, and skateboards.
Blacks had cultural influence on all three sports, and paved the way for younger generations to excel at all three.
People of African decent have been surfing since the sport was invented, and roller-skating has been a part of black culture for decades. The exhibit shows how blacks helped shaped the evolution of both sports.
The skate boarding portion of the exhibit shows that blacks have not only excelled at a sport that is thought to be dominated by whites, but that a good amount of blacks have become businessmen in the industry of skate boarding by starting their own companies that sell skateboards and clothing.
“Blacks have participated in the industry in several forms,” said Bran Ridgeway, who was one of the few blacks who was skateboarding in the 1970s. “Whether it’s a hard goods company, or a clothing company, or anything off of their own unique name. Whatever recognition they have they’ve been able to parlay it in some other things.”
The exhibit shows skateboarding as more than just a sport, but as an art form. Many of the skaters are also musicians, painters, photographers, as well as other genres of art.
How We Roll celebrates personal stories, cheers on the radicals who changed and blended the sports, and the artistry and livelihoods that have grown out of these respective fields.
How We Roll shows young blacks that they can take their love for skateboarding past a hobby, and that they can have a financially rewarding career.
The exhibit will run until January 2, and is free of charge.