Back in the day, roller-skating rinks were popular all over America, giving kids a place to hang out and have fun. But for African-American communities, they were not only a meeting ground, but an incubator of iconic hip-hop talents like Queen Latifah and N.W.A. But as more and more roller rinks are threatened with closure, a community joins forces in a racially charged environment to save this underground African-American subculture.
HBO has announced that on Monday, Feb. 18, at 8:00 p.m. (ET/PT), the network will exclusively present the documentary United Skates, from executive producer John Legend and first-time directors Dyana Winkler and Tina Brown. United Skates highlights the dynamic world of roller skating, showcasing African-American rinks and skaters across the country as they fight to keep the culture alive and skate their hearts out. The film features interviews with hip-hop legends like Salt-N-Pepa, Coolio, Vin Rock of Naughty by Nature and World Class Wreckin’ Cru.
United Skates spotlights three skaters fighting for their community: LA native Phelicia, a single mom who grew up in skates and hopes to keep skating alive for her children; North Carolinian Reggie, who lives hours from any rink that offers a night for black skaters and vows to launch his own; and Buddy Love, the owner of Chicago-based Rich City Skate, who struggles to keep his rink open, despite financial pressure.
The documentary will also be available on HBO NOW, HBO GO, HBO On Demand and partners’ streaming platforms.