Skateboarding has been a male-dominated sport for decades, but in recent years, with skating surging ahead on social media, women are now making big leaps on wheels. To celebrate this cultural shift, ABC Owned Television Stations present Our America: Women On A Roll, shining a light on women skate icons across the country, sharing their stories of resilience, hope, achievement, strength, and power. The women featured in the program are trailblazers, breaking down barriers and showing the world that skating is not just for boys.
From a young Black woman using skateboarding to fight injustice, to feminists rubbing elbows on a roller derby flat track, to a mother-daughter duo reshaping their community one rink at a time, these women are redefining what it means to be a skater and hope to inspire a new generation of girls and women to pick up a skateboard or lace up a pair of roller skates to hit the ground rolling.
Watch the full episode in the media player above.
21-year-old skater Aaliyah Warren uses roller skating to express herself and celebrate her culture. Her impressive roller skating style has attracted millions of views on TikTok.
"Roller skating is a part of me," Warren said. "I love expressing myself through different types of braids, different types of colors. It makes me feel just like me. It's a part of me."
Chicago's FroSkate aims to create a safe space for skaters while using their wheels to fight injustice.
"I am a beginner. I am a Black woman," said Karlie Thornton, FroSkate's founder and president, "I kind of want to skate with people who look like me as well."
When she started putting out calls, she said she realized that a rink was something the skate community needed. Since its founding in 2019, FroSkate has hosted over 100 events with more than 1,000 skaters.
When Mikaiah Spencer turned 15, her mother told her she needed to get a job. Instead of applying to fast food restaurants like many other teenagers in her small Texas town, Spencer sought to open a skating rink where all generations in the community could come together and roller skate. A year later, her vision became a reality when she opened Generations Skate. Spencer worked with her mother to develop construction plans, negotiate business deals, and deal with customers. In the process, she grew closer with her mother and her community.
"It's very prideful to be in a place to have your own business and have your space," Spencer said, "but you also have to be confident with what you have."
Watch "Our America: Women On A Roll" wherever you stream: Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV and Roku.