The Rink In Chatham Keeps Roller Skating Alive In Chicago

We talked to long-time skaters about what the South Side staple means to them — and what it would mean if it closed.

The Rink thumbnail
Dozens of people roller skate in The Rink at 1122 E. 87th St.. For decades, the Chatham neighborhood venue has been a hub for "JB" skating, a style inspired by the smooth dance moves of singer James Brown. Katherine Nagasawa / WBEZ
The Rink thumbnail
Dozens of people roller skate in The Rink at 1122 E. 87th St.. For decades, the Chatham neighborhood venue has been a hub for "JB" skating, a style inspired by the smooth dance moves of singer James Brown. Katherine Nagasawa / WBEZ

The Rink In Chatham Keeps Roller Skating Alive In Chicago

We talked to long-time skaters about what the South Side staple means to them — and what it would mean if it closed.

There once were dozens of places to roller skate in Chicago, but today only a handful remain.

The Rink is one of the survivors.

The South Side venue has become a staple in the Chatham community — some skaters have met their spouses at skate nights, while others now bring their grandchildren there.

“It just signifies what black culture is: family, love, pride, passion, and enjoyment,” long-time skater Patrice Jackson said.

We visited The Rink to learn about the skaters, J.B. style, and what it would mean for the community if it closed.

Katherine Nagasawa is the multimedia producer for Curious City. You can follow her @Kat_Nagasawa.

Lakeidra Chavis is a WBEZ contributor. You can follow her @lakeidrachavis.