Times have changed drastically from the cowboys and Indians days of the late ’80s and early ’90s. A time when crime amongst the youth of Washington, DC was all too common and the District topped the charts in murder rate per capita. These are the days and times that a younger Darren Harper would escape with his skateboard to parts of town that he wasn’t known for anything other than what he could do with his board.
In the early ninety’s skateboards weren’t found anywhere in black culture. Skaters were never spoken of in mainstream or even underground hip-hop, never seen in music videos, or in African-American movies. Now with the help of the Maloof brothers, Darren may be able to help the next inner-city youth use skateboarding to roll out of the projects and into the world of professional sports.
(I had the pleasure of speaking with a few young skaters this weekend that are under 21 and making close to a quarter million dollars a year from major sponsors. These corporations are looking for young skaters to get in front of their products, and DC is the newest skating ground for them to set their sights on.)