Skateboarding, no longer just a white man’s sport

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Eastern HeadsTell me if this sounds familiar: “Skateboarding is for white boys”. This has been the persona since the late 60′s when skateboarding hit the California area like Ike did Tina Turner. Skateboarding was obviously designed for white boys because white boys did it. There’s obviously no logic behind this reason, yet we’ve lived this way for over 50 years. It didn’t hurt the stereotype when white guys like Tony Hawk, Bam Margera, and Rob Dyrdek took the sport and made it even more popular in the late 90′s. I personally owned Tony Hawk’s underground skateboarding for the Gamecube (the original one)when I was little. True enough, these guys were featured in the video game, and they were great to play with. Ever notice  that there was no black guy in that game. Even the background scenes featured no black guys. Now, before I carry on, I can already hear somebody who’s going to read this, assuming that I’m headed towards a tirade about the oppression of black people. That is far from the truth. I am a fan of skateboarding, period. Color is no factor to me. I like the sport. However, noticing how the game held no traces of ethnic diversity, I’ve always hoped that one day I would see a black guy strive in skateboarding. Along comes a man named Stevie Williams; I became a happy man.

I was introduced to Stevie Williams by one of my good friends, Ryan. Also a skater head, and a crazy good skater as well, Ryan schooled me on the story of Stevie Williams with the same intensity a child would tell his mom about his favorite superhero. Stevie’s story is inspirational at least. A native of Philadelphia, Stevie Williams lived just like any other guy from an urban neighborhood. Aspirations and goals seemed more like pipe dreams to Stevie. Therefore, when he would shine at Love park with his board, no shirt, and uncombed afro, Stevie didn’t expect much. He was just a kid that loved to skate. Even back then, in the early-mid 90′s, Stevie had skill that most professional skaters today don’t possess. Stevie’s intensity on his jumps, his board control and intensity separated him from the wanna be’s to the kids that could actually make it. Stevie was so convinced that he could make it big with his skating that he left home as a teen to skate. Sleeping under railroads and train stations, Stevie would skate all day, and sleep at night. Williams literally skated his way to San Fransisco in order to pursue his dream. He was eventually sponsored by DC shoes, and was eventually mentored by Rob Dyrdek. Williams founded DGK in 2002 after being with DC for six years. He chose the acronym DGK to stand for Dirty Ghetto Kids. Stevie accredits the name to the many people who would laugh at Williams for being a black guy on a skateboard. These people viewed Stevie and his friends as dirty ghetto kids,  hence the name DGK. Read more here…

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