To create a safe, inclusive and accessible space for roller skaters of all identities, ages, and abilities that is organized by the community for the youth, while contributing to the rich history of West Oakland and DeFremery Park.
WHY DEFREMERY PARK?
Also known as Bobby Hutton park, the 9.5 acre park in West Oakland, California was a mecca for the Black Panther Party's social services, administration, and political activity. The park has served as a community gathering space for fundraisers, rallies, physical training, and distribution point for free groceries.
Throughout generations, roller skating has been present in Black culture. Despite having faced segregation and discrimination at indoor rinks, Black skaters have shaped the roller skate scene we enjoy today. We chose this location for our roller skate plaza to honor the culture and history of both the Black Panthers and roller skaters of past generations.
SHARING BASKETBALL COURTS ONCE A WEEK IS NOT ENOUGH
The Bay Area roller skating community is vibrant and growing every day. Surprisingly, there are no indoor rinks within 25 miles of Oakland. Even worse, there aren’t any free, outdoor spaces dedicated specifically to rollerskating in all of the East Bay. Skaters often utilize the smooth surfaces of tennis or basketball courts, but sharing these spaces can cause conflicts between the different activity groups.
This is why we need a dedicated space made just for roller skating, designed by roller skaters.