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The Civil Rights Era Roots of Roller Skating

In cities like Atlanta, roller skating culture is alive and rocking. But, its roots go back decades, back to the Civil Rights era. During desegregation in the 1950s and 1960s, many roller rink owners sought to maintain racial divides by hosting theme nights, such as “Rhythm Night” and “Soul Night,” specifically targeted towards African American patrons. Soon, however, these nights evolved into a thing of their own, stripping away the organ music and leaving behind an entirely unique subculture.
In Atlanta, the skating hub was centered around Cascade, a rink attracting all the best skaters in the area. Today, Cascade continues the movement, keeping skating culture rolling on.


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