Hollywood unlocked was on the carpet for the Los Angeles premiere of United Skates where we learned all about the importance of preserving the rinks!
United Skates, a documentary that sheds light on the underground and almost forgotten world or rollerskating. A pastime that has been around for many decades and helped shape part of the black community in various states has been threatened with the closure of many rinks around the world.
Hollywood Unlocked got an exclusive look at the documentary and got to speak to many of the films leading names as well as celebrities who grew up on skates and in the rinks.
Not only has skating provided something to do in the black communities, but it was the place where many of the popular black artists got their start when it came to sharing their music.
Salt from the famous duo Salt and Pepa shared that the skating rinks were some of the first places that her duo was able to perform and have people listen to their music.
“That’s where hip hop artist performed, everyone had to stop skating and you better rock” Salt said.
Across the United States, Roller rinks have been threatened with being shut down or even actually shutting down for various reason, leaving the black community of skaters with nothing to look forward to.
In the documentary, we follow the story of Phelicia Wright, a mother from Los Angeles who raised her 5 kids to love skating as a way to keep them off the streets and do something positive. With the closure of two skating rinks in her local city, one of her children resorted to crime and ended up in jail.
In North Carolina, we learned about Reggie Brown, a North Carolina man who had to drive upwards to 6 hours just to find a rink that accepted his style of rollerskating, skates and music taste. He was able to rally up a crowd to bring a certified adult night to his city to bring the black skating community together.
United Skates stands for those communities of thousands of skaters who are battling to change the environment and the idea of adult skating in order to bring rinks to more areas.
“Roller skating is really a metaphor for what’s happening in our country right now, there’s access to space issue police presence when black people are around, Were hoping that we shine a different light on that conversation”the movie’s producer Tina Brown said.
“These spaces have given so much to society besides skating in circles.”
Take a look at the recap up top and let us know what you think!