While perusing the aisles of Barnes & Noble this past weekend, I was intrigued by ALL the Black History books they were promoting. I stopped to read many of the titles and felt a little jolt. I got the feeling that my roller skating book should be on that stand next year; the main attraction on top of the display.
For this to happen, I will need your prayers for favor, focus, direction and divine connections. A little assistance with researching, interviewing and transcribing would help, too. 🙂 Can I count on your support?
I am pleased to announce that my roller skating site, Real Skate Stories, is up and running.
This is not the most exciting roller skating site you will find online. However, it is one of the most interesting – well to me. While all of the other sites provide information and share memories, I am collecting people’s roller skating stories and memories. Allow me to elaborate.
After returning to roller skating in 2008, I started researching roller skating in Chicago and Black roller skating in Chicago and found very little information. Even the The National Museum of Roller Skating in Lincoln, Nebraska didn’t have much on either topic. I smelled opportunity.
Long story short, to make this opportunity work, I’m going to need the stories, images and anything else people are willing to share. Although my focus is on Chicago and Black roller skating in Chicago right now, stories are welcomed from people all over the world. There is one caveat: I am only interested in the stories of people who used quad skates, not inline or ice skates. If you don’t know what quads are, check out the image above. Ok, those are old, but you get the picture.
And it doesn’t matter how well of a skater you were/are (or not). If you skated, your story will help me. Wow, I can’t wait to learn of other people’s roller skating memories. Visit Real Skate Stories to share your story now or share the link with others.
I have finally completed Real Skate Stories, my roller skating site, and would like your feedback on it.It has not been launched yet because I have not received authorizations to use all of the images just yet.
I set up the site to collect stories of roller skaters who skate on quad skates – not ice skates or roller blades – for my project.
I wanted to give people options on ways to share their stories: typing or video recording their responses as comments.
Here is the feedback I need:
- Is the header image overpowering? I wanted it to reflect all types of skating, but is it too much?
- Is the site easy to navigate? I want to make it clear that your stories are important and you can contact me.
- Did you find any spelling or grammar errors? I need an additional set of eyes.
- Would an image be more impactful on the About page.
- Any suggestions or recommendations?
After visiting Real Skate Stories, please leave your comments below. Thank you for your support.
Just wanted to let you know that my roller skating site is not ready :(. Not because of my slacking…this time. I’m waiting for approval to use someone’s image. Hopefully, they’ll respond soon.
In fact, Black people were first allowed to roller skate indoors at the Savoy Ballroom in Chicago’s Bronzeville community on December 8, 1938 thanks to Jimmie Davis, the manager of The Savoy at that time.
I don’t have the newspaper articles back this up because the microfilm machines were down at the Vivian Harsh Research Collection center at Carter G. Woodson Library. I will share as soon as I am able to get copies.
Image: Jazz Age Chicago
While researching roller skating in Chicago, I found a couple articles from the late 1970s and early ’80s that mentioned black skaters or rinks and then focused on suburban rinks. The writers started the stories talking about recreational skating which was, and still is, done in black rinks, and and then went to competitive speed and dance skating, which was, and still is, void of black people. There aren’t very many.
I was disappointed when reading most of those articles because it excluded an activity that was clearly a huge part of our culture. I’m not surprised, though. I spoke with a young lady from Washington, D.C. who said that The Washington Post wrote a story about roller skating in D.C. in the ’80s and did not mention black skating at all in that article. So, I won’t complain too much.
Recently, I had a conversation with a manager of a skating rink who confirmed that skating is a predominantly white sport. I get that. It’s just not cool being ignored like we have never had a place in the industry. This is why I have to work on my project.
So, if you could help me with my project it would be greatly appreciated. Following are ways you can help me:
- Find interns.
- Find people in their 50s and older for their skate story. While my story is focused on roller skating in Chicago, I’m willing to take the stories of people who skated in other states. That’s just another chapter in roller skating history.
- If you are 50 and older who roller skated, share your skate story.
- Please share any roller skating articles, photos, advertisements – anything – you run across .
Thank so much for your help.
Image: Kentucky Historical Society