Although TikTok videos of people dancing on roller skates have blown up over the past year, many do not know where these moves come from, and the role that Black skaters and skaters of color have played in maintaining roller skating alive and accessible for their communities. For Amy Collado, founder of Butter Roll, a New York based social enterprise focused on Black, Indigenous and POC wellness through roller skating and the arts, the history of roller skating is personal.
Amy grew up hearing stories of her mom’s passion for roller skating. As a young girl, her mom would spend endless days at roller rinks in New York City… that is until they closed down. It would be years later, after going to design school and eventually becoming a tenant organizer, that Amy created Butter Roll. At first, Butter Roll was a social media platform to center the history of skating in Black and Latinx communities. But soon Amy began hosting events, an experience that revealed the importance of her role as a skate advocate: standing up to the rampant policing of Black and Brown bodies at skate events, and creating a space where all are safe to dance, enjoy, and be themselves.
On this How I Made It segment, Butter Roll founder Amy Collado tells us about her journey in roller skating—from listening to her mom’s stories to going on to start her own skate shop.
Illustration by Jackie Rivera.
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