I Remember Blackness: Skate Culture

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“Can you skate?”

It was this question that allowed me to figure out how coordinated I was…or wasn’t. I remember that a friend of my father’s, Melanie, took me and my sister skating. My coordination notwithstanding, I thought it was fascinating. I mean–roller skating is EVERYTHING. I mean, I had a pair of Fischer-Price skates as a toddler, and a pair of other skates that were white and lavender. But the first time I went skating, I was 10.

It was a Tuesday night, it was crowded and the skates were brown with orange wheels. It was Skate King in Pine Lawn–it’s a township on the border of St. Louis City and St. Louis County. I remember lying about going out on the floor, because I didn’t know anyone. Melanie encouraged me to try, and the other kids she brought with us, went with me. I remember balancing was hard, I didn’t fall–that time!–and I remember that all these people around me were just going so fast! Skating backwards, forwards, and as couples–it was incredible to watch.

Even now, looking back on those memories, I wish that I would have taken more advantage of it. I wish I would have learned how to skate backwards! I wish that I could have done it more often, and just on a whim. So to see skate culture become more mainstream (I mean, you remember ATL with T.I.?!), it does my heart good. It also reminds me if I were to pick up skates again, and fall, I won’t get up up that quick.

But it surely would be fun!

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