I had never run into three black skateboarders skating together without white friends until a few weeks ago. During my last four years of skateboarding around regularly, I would occasionally see one or two black skaters with a group of other kids, usually white. I was glad to see these three having a session at Pan Am Plaza, a place known to be frequented by those working on their skill and style.
Friends going back to their days at Arsenal Technical High School they, the three 23-year-old men were talkative and receptive. Although, they hadn’t been skating long, I could tell from the wear and tear on their boards they had been taking it seriously.
Their skill levels ranged as much as their thoughts on just about everything. We talked about skateboarding of course, but also delved into the recent Black Lives Matter protests and social issues facing our country, state, and city. Despite our varying views, nobody got mad or offended. We dove deep, but didn’t wind up in a fight. After talking, we went on to skate a bit more together before skating off in different directions.
On my way back to my parking garage, I heard familiar chanting and followed the voices until I came upon another protest heading south on Meridian street. I didn’t know what the protest was about or where they were heading and decided to tag along for a bit.
Our first stop was at IMPD at 39 W Jackson Place. There, demands were shouted between insults. Nothing was broke. No fires were set. Nobody injured. No damage done.
Moving along, we headed back out on Meridian Street until the group decided to stop in front of Georgia Street as a patrol car was trying to make it’s way out. The officer eventually backed up and went another direction.
It was at this point that the protesters began to kneel. Eventually, McHale Rose’s father, Myron, spoke to the protesters proclaiming that he would keep on marching until his son gets justice, even if he has to do it alone.
On my way again back to my parking garage, I saw another protest taking place at the City County Building where people seemed to be having a moment of silence. I didn’t want to bother anyone with questions and was already about an hour late for dinner, so I took a few quick shots and finally made it back to my Jeep.
A lot can happen in the course of an hour on the streets of Indianapolis. Three new friends, two protests, and everything in between that didn’t even make the cut made for the fullest of afternoons.
While this video may upset some people, I’m doing my best to keep it real and give everyone I meet a voice that is not edited to skew the reality of any given situation. I’m not pushing political agendas, but I am pushing boundaries and bridging gaps. I’m working on improvement, but still have miles to go with skateboarding and in life.