Building a Community for Black Surfers in the Rockaways

Lou Harris moved to Rockaway Beach in Queens 15 years ago and started surfing. He couldn’t help but notice he was one of the rare Black people out on the water in a mostly non-white community. So Harris founded the East Coast chapter of the Black Surfing Association and started teaching local kids how to surf and skateboard, too. Harris also recently organized what surfers call a paddle out to raise awareness for Black Lives Matter. The turnout for this special event was beyond his wildest expectations.


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Queen of the Ring: The Champion Wrestler in Drag

Cassandro El Exotico, a Mexican wrestler, owns a championship belt. But the biggest difference between this lucha libre wrestler and his opponents is his garb. In a sport of rampant machismo, Cassandro stands apart. With an outfit that mixes masculine and feminine styles, and a fierce determination to win, the openly gay wrestler defies stereotypes and looks great doing it.


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Spoken Without Words: Poetry With ASL SLAM

It's spoken word without spoken words—ASL SLAM is an open space for poets to perform their work in American Sign Language (ASL). As ASL SLAM's executive director Douglas Ridloff explains, ASL poetry doesn't rely on rhyming patterns or meter within auditory or written wordplay; rather, the art is "more about the movement, a visual rhyme versus an audio rhyme." Its performance is a stunning and emotionally potent artistry that connects with all audiences.


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