This month we’ve asked our coaches to tell us about an African American role model in their lives to celebrate Black History Month.
Two of our NY Coaches were influenced by musicians. Coach Shane, who is also a musician, shares his thoughts on Jimi Hendrix:
“I’m going to go with Jimi Hendrix, He invented his own genre within a genre with his unorthodox style and approach influencing many in what was a predominantly non African American world. Lessons of unparalleled creativity, courage, and individuality that can be applied to all facets of life as he applied to his guitar playing. This has been a lasting influence on me.”
Coach Jenny was affected by Missy Elliott:
“Most figures in African American history are amazing role models, as they are immensely brave and stand up for civil rights. More recently on the timeline, however, I have become enamored with Missy Elliott. Missy Elliott is an icon for owning her own image/sexuality within the entertainment industry, despite not having a look curated for the male gaze. She overcame childhood traumas and channeled her disgruntled energy into self-written expressions of music. I took the song “Get Ur Freak On” to heart, and let my freak flag fly. Just as rap is a mostly male-dominated art form, so is skateboarding. Goal-wise, she has made me want to change the game and dominate it. Missy accomplished this by staying true to herself and working with people she loved. Seeing her mother leave her abusive father sparked a special strength inside and allowed Missy to chase her drive. She has an uncanny ability to make her listeners dance, bringing a fire energy to the room. I would love my presence to awaken the stagnant energies of others in a similar way, uncovering the passions and curiosities that lead us to success.”