Thrasher Magazine - August 2020 issue with Evan Smith: Cosmic cowboy; Frank Gerwer: People I’ve known; Brooklyn Banks: Pang, Harold, Zered; Skateboarders in Love: Nora, Franky, Lizzie & more. “To a certain extent, we’ve all sought refuge and freedom with our skateboards, our community representing a kind of ideal world where we can just push off and escape.
Oftentimes we relish that outlaw status, wearing it as a source of pride. Other times we complain that folks, nervous at the sound of our rattling behind them on a sidewalk, pass immediate judgement, assuming the worst. For most of us though, these injustices are temporary. Once we through our boards in the trunk and resume our lives as we wish, the hoodlum label is packed away and without a second thought, we resume daily activities like walking through the grocery store or washing our clothes at the laundromat. Sadly, this privilege can’t be enjoyed by everyone. Baseless mistrust and suspicion stalk them wherever they go.
Black lives more than just matter, they are a right of birth. We are far from having all the answers, but beyond the need for justice in the courtroom, dramatic shifts in the approach to policing, and better representation at every level of government, the most important work occurs off camera. Real change doesn’t happen on Instagram. It happens when we treat people with respect because they deserve it, not for any acknowledgement or credit.
Skateboarding used to be pretty damn white, but we’ll be damned if it isn’t better and more beautiful the blacker it has become. Now is the time for skateboarding to lead by example, to show the world how it can be done, how it needs to be done. Start NOW.” -Tony Vitello