Black Roller Skating Appreciation Post

The recent rash of headlines touting the new “TikTok roller skating trend” reminded me a lot about why I started my website and social media pages back in 2014.

I was struck by how often media coverage on roller skating was centered around white women in some strange exclusionary form of “girl power.” I had been an avid roller skater for nearly 5 years by then. Although I am white, I didn’t look like that, and neither did the people I skated with. My intention was to use my privilege to amplify those who weren’t being seen.

Many of these articles centered skating around white influencers and erased the African-American communities that have been nurturing and elevating this activity for decades. 

This sends the unfortunate message that black skaters and their beloved activity didn’t really matter until white people discovered it.

On top of that, some were quick to capitalize; positioning themselves as the gatekeepers of some sort of skating “revival,” taking credit for, and profiting from, dances and skills they took from the culture, but did not create.

Despite black skaters’ apparent erasure from the press, they have had some of the most significant impact on our culture.

Even the film makers of the 2018 HBO documentary “United Skates” embarked on their original journey thinking that roller skating was dying off with the last of the original New York “roller disco” skaters. They soon learned that there was a whole vibrant movement of adult roller skating they’d never heard of. To their credit, they worked tirelessly with those skaters for over 5 years to get their story told on a bigger scale.

Prior to that, Tyrone Dixon released his independent documentary, “8 Wheels and some Soul Brotha Music” in 2004 to critical acclaim. Without these films, the media has virtually ignored black roller skating culture.

In an attempt to course correct, some authors have recently taken up the cause to remind people how the roots of modern skating stem from the civil rights movement. While skating does indeed bears roots in the struggle of racism, we must not overlook the positive and joyful contributions the black community has made to modern skating culture.

When the media continues to portray skaters as majority white, retro, eye candy, or conversely when black skaters are only represented by their racial trauma, they are missing out on the cutting edge of music, dance, fashion, etc.

This is a vibrant and important culture still fighting racist policies, continued gentrification, and historical erasure. Black skaters deserve to have their contributions acknowledged, respected and appreciated at the forefront of cultural conversations, not as a footnote.

Quarantunes!

Whether this COVID-19 health crisis has got you skating in your kitchen or you just need some weekend cleaning music, your friendly neighborhood dee-jay “White Chocolate” has got you covered for many moods!

White Chocolate roller skater Roller Skate JD music fun playlist spotify

Check out my assortment of skate tunes, or just fun throwback jams to keep you and your family dancing!

Look for WCRollerskate on Spotify, or click the link below:
https://open.spotify.com/user/w4d60ncamp2hifffb65e65hfz?si=BGh1USIITrCcFmeelE4WGw

Motown Skate Night – March 2, 2019

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We had so much fun doing the Janet Jackson Roller Disco tribute a few years ago, the folks at The Church of 8 Wheels have graciously let me take over the booth for another great theme night! MOTOWN.
Just on the tail of #BlackHistoryMonth, we’ll be celebrating the 60 year anniversary of the Motown sound – on wheels!

Detroit is one of the original birthplaces of modern “dance skating” and is also the home of “Soul Skate,” one of the biggest, national adult skate jams.

Early Detroit skaters had to fight segregation during the civil-rights era, but once they were allowed in, they changed the game! Thanks to pioneering skaters like Bill Butler, who brought their jazz records to the rink, we have the modern flavor and styles that we all enjoy today!

Come down and enjoy 4 hours of great Motown hits plus lots of classic R&B, Soul & Funk to skate to!

Click to go to Facebook Event page

Roller Disco Party Playlist #1

Skate music has it’s own unique groove to give you that “roll, bounce” action. There’s a reason that people have been rolling to these great old school tunes for decades!

For those on Spotify, I’ve put together for you 4 hours of roller disco fun! These songs are the real deal! This is a loose recreation of one of my DJ sets at San Francisco’s Church of 8 Wheels.

For best results, let it flow. Do not shuffle!

White Chocolate’s Roller Disco Party #1 – #RollWithSoul

The Wonder Mix

Every year, the Golden Gate Park roller skaters put on a showcase filled with fun dance routines.

I was hesitant to participate this year because I had pulled a muscle, which was taking a long time to heal and I wasn’t skating at the level I wanted to be at for a “performance.”

But at the last minute, I let all that go, and decided to put 2 of my favorite things together; Janet Jackson and Wonder Woman!

Enjoy this funky mash-up!!

CREDITS:
• Song: Janet Jackson – Dammn Baby
• Wonder Woman Theme remix: Brittany Taylor https://youtu.be/h5KvCNsundA
• Addtl. Instrumental arrangement/stabs: https://www.instagram.com/mrklynik/

Special thanks to Kenny Hoff for capturing the moment!

Featured Photo: Justin Link

Janet Jackson Roller Disco Tribute

We don’t have to wait until our legends are gone to celebrate them. Janet is one of my all time favorite artists, a true inspiration. With the support of the Church of 8 Wheels, we’re going to dedicate a theme night solely to Janet!

Janet Jackson is an international mega-star but her accomplishments are actually quite underrated, and often diminished in the media in favor of newer artists for which Janet paved the way. Before Beyoncé and others, there was Janet. Miss Jackson if you’re nasty.

Janet has given us FOUR straight decades of uplifting party music as well as socially conscious music. She’s taken music video and live performances to new heights. She has created and broken numerous records for female artists. Many of them still stand today.

Please join me April 1, at San Francisco’s Church of 8 Wheels, for a celebration of Janet Jackson’s music on wheels! I can assure you, this is no April Fool’s joke!

Get the point? Good…let’s skate!

Janet Jackson Roller Disco Tribute

#JanetsLegacyMatters

Aug. 27 Michael Jackson Roller Disco

August 29th, 2016 would have marked the King of Pop’s 58th birthday.
The Church of 8 Wheels is celebrating with a special roller disco night filled with music from Michael as well as his famous musical family.

Join me, White Chocolate for a fun theme night!
Get out your best MJ moves, costumes and skate!

SATURDAY AUGUST 27, 7-11PM

AGES 18+
$10 ADMISSION | $5 SKATE RENTAL
(CASH ONLY)

Facebook Event Link

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