Skateboarding is in my opinion the single best host Community for someone to become a part of. I have searched my whole life for acceptance by teammates in organized sports, surfing, school, and even clubs of different kinds but never did I find a place where I felt okay to let my guard down completely. I've always skated ever since I was about 10 or so but it was never something I tried that hard at or really pushed to see progression in my self until relatively recently. Right when I really dedicated my self to this life style and really desired to progress in my artistic displays did I find the true blessing that skateboarding is. It is unlike any club or group out there that I have ever heard of or been a part of. This "activity" calls the participant to undertake a new outlook on life, to really slow down and see things as they are, not just as they seem. As discussed earlier, this skill seeps into other aspects of our lives as human beings allowing us to see past candy coated shells society has painted on so many things and all the labels they have placed on everything. Real skateboarders don't judge another skater on his skin color, religious beliefs, or fashion choices. The skateboarding community I have witness, and I have been accepted into has been full of punk rockers, black guys, and hippies all coexisting more peacefully then any other society on this planet. I see Satanist symbols plastered on decks sitting on a shelf right above the Rasta Lion of Judah, two virtually opposite religious view points, but I could all but guarantee that the purchaser's of those boards would have zero problem getting together and skating one afternoon with zero conflicts arising over that matter (or any other).
Today's society seems to be one that wants to go about things in the future differently then how they have been done in the past. They preach change against race aimed bigotry. They scream down fighting and fussing over trivial matters. They scream for justice and equality for all. But the way I have been seeing it, "they" all seem to be preaching and stringing together fancy speeches and cool "Co-Exsist" bumper stickers while "we" are and have been practicing their preaching. We as skaters have learned never look at that concrete bank as simply a retaining wall; look at it as a wave waiting to be smashed or a canvas awaiting stall after stall upon the glorious top coping. We have learned to look past the color of a person's skin or what neighborhood they live in and look to a much deeper place. We see individuals who love to skate, just like us. Our minds have been opened and prepared to accept new ideas and new concepts on the fly because we have no idea what type of terrain we may encounter or experience that day. Skateboarding has been so good for so many people in that it heals and bridges wounds brought about by a society with so much hurt and pain. The skate community I have witnessed has been nothing short of a family and I am so thankful to be a part of it. And you know the best part about being a part of a family is? It can never be to big. I invite you to go out and meet your local skate family and your local shop is a great place to start. Go out and introduce your self to the owner and some of the employees. Who knows, maybe you'll even find your self a new skate partner.
JAH Bless y'all and get out there and color in the black and white land scape that is your local concrete jungle!