'Peace Paddle' event hopes to uplift young Black surfers: 'We're carving out a new space'

The event - which offered free surf lessons - was created in hopes of sharing a message of inclusivity.
MANHATTAN BEACH (KABC) -- In an effort to share a message of inclusivity, a group of young Black surfers gathered in Manhattan Beach Sunday morning for an event they call "Peace Paddle."

The concept for the event was created a year ago.

Justin "Brick" Howe and a friend were surfing in Manhattan Beach when a man - who was white - verbally harassed them, hurling racial slurs.

The incident sparked outrage after a witness shared photos and video of the incident and Howe shared them online. The two chose to use the incident as a way to spread awareness and later created the "Peace Paddle" event, which brought out dozens on Sunday.

Free surf lessons were offered to those who attended.

"It's just a gathering of the community," said Howe. "It's been like a whole blossoming of Black surf communities. We're just here to reset the tone and get the vibe right again. We're carving out a new space for people who look like us. That's what it's really about."

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