God bless the New York Times. The paper of record for the country has provided further evidence of the cultural shift taking place. Another indication of the change in sensibilities among African Americans. Back in May, I made note of Black skaters, but Sunday’s Style section piece takes a deeper look at the reasons why skateboarding–skating–is moving out of the ‘burbs and into the cities.
Over the last two decades, the sport shifted away from ramp-based vert skating to street skating, a variation that made use of urban structures like stairways, curbs and railings. As the importance of access to ramps dwindled, skateboarding’s fan base grew increasingly diverse.
And this is worth noting:
As the stigma against skateboarding in the black community has dissipated, hip-hop artists have become some of the sport’s most influential advocates. Instead of being called a “white boy,” black skaters are now compared to rap artists. “If you hang around your African-American friends that don’t skate, you’re going to get the nickname ‘Skateboard P’,” said Iusu Beckle, 18, another Brooklyn native who skates at the museum.
The original “Skateboard P” is Pharrell Williams, the rapper and producer.
As a group ventures into new areas, the very act of doing so shakes loose old orthodoxies.