By NOAH REMNICK
Early one evening in June, River Avenue Skate Park in the Bronx was reverberating with its usual medley of screeching from the elevated No. 4 train and scattered applause from Yankee Stadium, when a young boy shouted, “Brujas coming, yo!”
And with that, in rolled some of the park’s most steadfast devotees, their ponytails waving in the breeze. The Brujas, a crew of female skateboarders, have gathered regularly there for more than two years, but they still tend to turn heads. Even as they have become fixtures in the local skateboarding community, the young women — all of them from ethnic minorities, most from Upper Manhattan or the Bronx — are frequently greeted with catcalling and rubbernecking.
“Silly boys acting like they’ve never seen a girl before,” scoffed Arianna Gil, 22, who helped found the group in 2014. “Skater bros all think they’re rebels, but who are the real outsiders here?”
Skateboarding, which long enjoyed a freewheeling, anti-establishment reputation, has gained substantial mainstream traction and corporate sponsorship over the years. And still the sport remains dominated by men, most of them white. The Brujas hope their presence on the scene will challenge skateboarding culture with what they view as a more radical agenda.
“There’s so little opportunity for young people of color in terms of jobs and education that we don’t feel like a part of this city,” Ms. Gil said. “Skating is a way to reclaim our freedom.”
Read more: Sisterhood of the Skateboard | NY Times