7 Black Female Skate Groups, People & Products You Should Be Supporting.

Friday, June 5, 2020

Gnarly girl Rae Skate Sticker by Proper Gnar


This past week has left us feeling angry, hurt, and saddened about the underlying issues of our society, especially when it comes to abuse to the Black community via the police force. Protests are continuing in cities nationwide in the memory of George Floyd and so many others, to demand change. We know a lot of you have participated - which we love and we hope you will continue to do so wherever you can - this fight is not over until radical change happens in this country.

Make sure you also get registered to vote, study the candidates in every position, and vote! We can not express how important this is, your voice needs to be heard from the local level all the way up to the White House.

We posted links on our previous piece on where you can donate to organizations like Black Lives Matter, ACLU, Unicorn Riot, NAACP, and more - we hope you will spend some time checking them out and donating if you can.

During this time, we've decided to also educate ourselves on how we all can help each other right here in skateboarding.

To start, we'd like to acknowledge and recognize our Black Female Skate Community by promoting Female Black-Owned skateboard movements and businesses.

We’ve put together a list of people, brands and movements we know and love, as well as suggestions from you guys.

Whether you chose to follow on Instagram, order a product, or donate time/funds to a movement - we encourage you to explore this list and support these women - not just today, but every day.

Skateboarding has been predominately white males for decades - our aim has been to see more women skateboarding and now we need to take it even further and be specific about helping to encourage and amplify the voices of color in our own community.

Are we missing some of your favorite people, brands, or movements?

Let us know by contacting us via our Instagram page @girlisnota4letterword  Make send you send us a DM  - we read them!!








PROPER GNAR has been on the scene for five years now. They are based out of Dayton, Ohio but the owner and artist, Latosha, can and will ship everywhere via their online site which is chock full of skate decks with her own powerful graphics, apparel, stickers, and more. "I felt that women don't get the same amount of pay or sponsorships, and I wanted to create that change," says Latosha.

The brand got its start because Latosha is super into fashion, and is also an illustration artist, so she combined those assets with her love with skateboarding (15 years worth) and Proper Gnar was born.


To provide an understanding of how things are starting to change in skateboarding Latosha had this to share:


"I just want to say how proud I am of the skate community and how far it has all come. I was initially nervous about posting and sharing some things because the last time I did I got some negative, racist feedback. This time around the support has been overwhelming, and I really appreciate that. 


When I first started skating Elissa Steamer was the only woman skater I knew. When I’d go to the park, guys would not only question my gender skating but also my color. Now there are so many of us out there and I love to see it."


 Check out the goods at Propergnar.com







Skateboarder and model, BRIANA KING has been encouraging girls to get together and skate with her at various skateparks for a couple of years now and says "I don't see that stopping anytime soon!".  

Growing up in the Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles, and later traveling the world as a model she strives to make sure people around her feel welcome and comfortable - even when they are the "new kid" at one of her skate clinics. She continually holds female and queer skate sessions where she teaches girls to skate and encourages them to stick with it by providing a support system of other girls right in their own neighborhood to skate with in the future. 

Photo of Briana by Kris Evans






Past skate clinics have taken place in Boyle Heights, Seattle, Lincoln Heights, and El Sereno.

Stay tuned to Briana's Website for updates on upcoming skate clinics in 2020. 

And make sure you check out the video below to see how rad these sessions are!






 



Quinne with Blk Girl Grip





BLK GIRL GRIP is the brainchild of Aziza -who started painting grip tape five years ago with her own designs. Why paint grip tape you might ask?



Aziza said, "I can't remember the last time I had blank grip -
 if I am going to be looking down at my board, at least make it cute, right?"




Every single piece she designs is one of a kind and a work of art. If you are lucky enough to catch her at a skate event you can see what she has available and buy it right there, otherwise hit her up on her Instagram @blkgirlgrip  - but please remember, like most female-owned businesses we are writing about, she is a one-woman show so be patient when showing your support!




A post shared by Griptape Art 4 Sale💃🏾✨ (@blkgirlgrip) on






Babes Brigade


BABES BRIGADE, run by the raddest girl around, Stephanie Battieste, has been on a mission since 2015 to get girls and women in Toronto on skateboards no matter what! From meetups, lessons, parties, and group sessions this is one of the most fun women/girls skate groups we have ever met!

 After spending countless years skating at her local skate parks, usually, as the only female, Stephanie began to start seeing more and more girls skating.


Photo Girl is NOT a 4 Letter Word
Steph wanted to find a way for them to connect. After a little brainstorming, she decided social media platforms such as FB and IG would be the best way to do so. She then created weekly meetups just for women to skate together. It very quickly became a support group and safe space for women, on and off the board.







And we should also mention that for the over 21 ladies,  Babes Brigade has its own signature beer from Prince Eddy's Brewing called the Haze Brigade - how rad is that?





 









SAMARRIA BREVARD is the first Black woman to medal at the X-Games. She is also the only female skater on the Enjoi Skate Team and she has a kickass signature board.


We suggest you buy her board to support because pro-female skaters are rare, as are people of color in skateboarding. Plus every sale helps Samarria fund her dream of heading to the Olympics for Women's Street skateboarding.








 
MS. RPRSNTD, where do we even start? Their founder, Adrienne is a force to be reckoned with on so many levels. The goal of MS. RPRSNTD is to provide girls in marginalized communities with access to skateboarding, but the movement goes far beyond that.


How about a skate related multi-media art show (Girl Gang at Space 15 Twenty) or an Instagram that shines a light on women of color in skateboarding, add creating skateboard decks with the word Feminist on them and you know that Adrienne is seriously doing it all. 

MS. RPRSNTD is coming back this year all grown up as a full-fledged Non-Profit, so we can't wait to see what happens next! Make sure you stay tuned on their Instagram @msrprsntd





THE SKATE KITCHEN, this diverse group of young female skateboarders has been the talk of NYC and beyond for years now. They skate hard, and they don't take any shit from the guys.  The group is diverse and the women of color to follow on Instagram include skaters MoonBearDede Lovelace   and Ajani Russell.




Collectively they have a movie out about their group, "The Skate Kitchen" which can be viewed on Amazon Prime, and now they star in a popular TV Series titled BETTY currently showing on HBO. 

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