PHELICIA | South Central, Los Angeles
Phelicia ‘Phe’ Wright is a self-confessed a rink rat. Her mother was a skate DJ and her father a rink floor guard. She grew up in the rink, and now she too is raising her five energetic kids the same way. Phe knows only too well the impact skating has had on her community, having witnessed the father of one of her children leave his Crip gang life for skating. In particular, her youngest daughter London and eldest son Shannon share her deep love of skating. After the closing of the very last Los Angeles rink with armed police and helicopters ‘to keep the peace’, Phelicia fears for her son’s future now that he has recently lost his ability to skate—the only thing that had been keeping him safe from the street life of South Central where they live. Determined to keep her son and community safe, Phe decides to take matters into her own hands to keep her family skating.
REGGIE | Fayetteville, North Carolina
Raised on military bases around the world, Reggie Brown is an unrelenting roller skater and a visionary. The hip hop dance teacher met his U.S. Army Captain wife Naadira in a roller rink and fell in love. For him, roller-skating goes deeper than eight wheels and a wood floor. It brought him a sense of community and culture, neither of which he has at his local rink. In his home state of North Carolina, there are currently 14 rinks-- not one has a skate session for his community. Through breaking down the barriers of fear and stereotyping, Reggie is committed to saving his skate community and positively shifting rink culture across the country, one rink at a time.
BUDDY LOVE | Chicago, Illinois
A third-generation skater, Buddy Love and his family own one of a few African American owned rinks in the country. Using his mother’s retirement savings to keep it going, his family is putting everything on the line to save what they love most. For the skaters, by the skaters, their family rink is a beacon of hope for the South Chicago community, from helping children pay for school books and uniforms, to allowing families in to skate for free when they can’t afford the $5 entrance fee. Yet after ten years, they are fighting tooth and nail to keep its doors open against gentrification and new zoning laws which favor commercial business over community spaces.