There's A Skateboarding Group In Detroit Named After Rosa Parks

Illustration for article titled There's A Skateboarding Group In Detroit Named After Rosa Parks

We should've learned from OutKast that you can't just attach Rosa Parks' name to something all willy-nilly. But alas...


Over in Corktown, a group of skateboarders have taken up shop in an empty building on Rosa Parks Boulevard and created an indoor skate park. But what started off as a joke — per one of the boarders in a video here — has stuck: The name "Rosa Parks Boys."

Detroit is in a precarious position right now when it comes to creative types who walk the fine line between homage and appropriation. Take for example Coleman Young T-shirts, sometimes worn in honor of the ham-fisted mayor and sometimes worn by hipsters who likely were nowhere near Detroit during his reign. Or those sunglasses made from reclaimed wood — a fashion statement born from a need to recycle, or profiting from the economic storm that drove so many families away from the city?

"But!" you might say, "the Rosa Parks Boys are named after the street! Not the lady on the bus!" To that, I'll ask: Why not the 12th Street Boys? After all, Rosa Parks Boulevard and 12th Street are one in the same (except in a few spots), and 12th Street is more of an homage to the city's history since that was the street's original name.

I don't know. Part of me wants to go with the "they're doing good things for Detroit so I should just shut up and stop complaining" and the other part of me is like "really? really? A civil rights icon and skateboarding?" Let's discuss.


Aaron Foley

I guess another way of putting this is, if you wanted to open a dollar store on Rosa Parks, would you call it Rosa Parks Dollar Store?