The Spades is full length documentary that chronicles the involvement of African-Americans in the culture and sport of skateboarding. The film will be a compelling look at the key moments and places throughout skateboarding's history. The Spades will showcase the rich and detailed involvement of African-Americans in the sport and culture of skateboarding, showing that it is not just a modern day phenomenon.
Starting in the-late1950s with African- American kids creating their own home-made boards by nailing roller-skate assemblies to the bottom of a wooden plank. Into when the clay wheels are introduced and the dawn of skateboarding starts in the 1960s. Skaters like Rick Blocker and many other African-Americans who were making their own boards all across America
Our story continues into seventies in Mid City, Los Angeles, with the first professional African-American skaters, Z-Boys Marty Grimes and his brother Clyde Grimes. The Brothers Grime are the pioneering African-Amercan skateboarders of the 70's, being the first African-Americans to appear in skateboard magazines and films.. A chance meeting with Jay Adams would cement the brothers in Dogtown and skateboarding lore. Marty would become the first black skater to be given a signature skateboard.
Into the 1980's with the "concrete playgrounds" that was the skatepark era of skateboarding with icons such as Variflex's Freddie DeSota, Atlanta's Don Hillsman, Florida’s Chuck Dinkins and Cleo Coney, and West Virginian turned California Bryan Ridgeway, one of the most respected industry insiders and Bones Brigader Steve Steadham, who was the first African-American to launch his own company, and a look on how a skatepark transformed the lives of a group of kids from South Cenral, Los Angeles.
At the start of the late-80's we look to the to the east coast with NYC pioneer Rodney Smith and Shut skateboards, who laid for east coast skaters such as Harold Hunter, Kieth Harrison and Rodney Cooper.
The timeline then turns to the D.I.Y ramp era with a look at the Venice Pavilion with skaters such as Pep Williams, Mark Jones, and Eric "Tuma" Brittion.
In the 1990's we start with a look at the San Francisco scene with Ron Allen , Drake Jones, Chris Pastras and Karl Watson and innovators such as Ray Barbee, Sal Barbier, Chuck "McRad" Treece, Kareem Campbell, Alphonso Rawls, Jovantee Turner,,, Sean Sheffy, Ron Chatman, Stevie Dread and many more...
The Spades will also feature Terrell Robinson, SAD, Kellen James, Boo Johnson, Z-Boy Solo Scott, Ned “Peanut” Brown, Darren Harper, Abita Jefferson, Anthony Mosley...Terry Kennedy, DGK's Rasul , Alphonzo Rawls, Stephanie Persons, the first African-American female pro skater, Jamel Robinson, Auntwan Dixon, Kellen James, Chuck Dinkins, Abita Jefferson, Gershon Mosley, Derrick Wilson, Nyjah Houston, Boo Johnson, and many more from across America.
The film will be told through the lives of the skateboarders who helped shaped the art form as well as the places they skated. Weaving together interviews, photographs, and archival footage the film will showcase the rich and detailed involvement of African-Americans in the sport and culture of skateboarding.The Spades will be a compelling look at the key moments, places and players in skateboard history and the larger story of how African-Americans in the sport of skateboarding evolved into what it is today. They will share their dealings with home owners, the law, struggle with public opinion of being an African-American skateboarder and, the struggle to gain equal footing in skateboarding industry.