The Humanities Truck joined the National Park Service for Late Skate at Anacostia Park Roller Skating Pavilion this summer. During the three events hosted in June, July, and August, community members, neighbors, family, and friends hosted cookouts and gathered at the pavilion to skate and do family-oriented activities including face painting.
At these events, Truck fellows Dan, Maren, and Hannah conducted almost 20 brief interviews with community members about the importance of Anacostia Park to the neighborhood. Young and old alike spoke to the centrality of the Park in their lives, focusing on community-building and having a space to gather with their families. Some of the narrators now live outside of the District, often in Maryland, and now return to Anacostia Park, especially for Late Skate, to return to their family routes. Those interviewed also reflected on the importance of go-go music and skating both to Anacostia Park and to the greater DC culture. Some narrators discussed other topics prevalent in their lives including their and their family’s interactions with law enforcement and the criminal justice system.
Click to listen to the narrators’ stories.
After recording the interviews, we played them back on the opposite side of the Truck to quickly allow the narrators to see themselves and let passers-by and spectators hear their story. The events drew a good crowd and brought together DMV residents who share a common love for Anacostia Park, skating, and/or go-go music.