“I’m coming for you!” says Black Girls Surf's Rhonda Harper.
In a shock spray just uploaded to YouTube from Senegal, Black Girls Surf founder Rhonda Harper has quit her association with the WSL, called surf identity Sal Masekela an “Uncle Tom” and accused the popular commentator and musician of “bringing negativity and dividing black people.”
Last Wednesday, Masekela was the hit of a paddle-out at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas where he led the five-hundred strong crowd in eight minutes and forty-six seconds of silence as a reminder of the amount of time police held Floyd to the ground by his neck.
“Sal delivered a speech so powerful that it reverberates deep in our core,” said Stab magazine.
Rhonda Harper, you’ll remember from a wonderful story two years ago where police were called, reports filed and news organisations notified, when a Brazilian surf instructor pulled the leash of a Black Girls Surf member at Venice Beach.
It was, perhaps, a glorious trifecta of localism, sexism and racism.
(Black Girls Surf was established in 2014 “for young girls/women surfers of the African diaspora. BGS is training and coaching the nextgen of surfers ages 5-17.”)
When I spoke to Harper and asked her to explain why it was necessary to bring the pigs into it, echoes of Goggans v Smith, she told that she’d seen Chas Smith’s earlier story on the incident and “As the owner of Black Girls Surf, I’m going to tell BeachGrit, I have no comment, no…fucking…comment.”
Fast forward to 2020 and in a piece live to telephone from Senegal and titled “Sal Masakela (sic) you on notice” Harper truly lights up.
“I’ve had so many complaints about that paddle out.”
“He hasn’t done nothing for black people in surfing!”
“I can’t believe your daddy is Hugh Masekela who was down there with apartheid and you act like this!”
“I’m coming for you!”
“Everyone’s on notice! WSL, I told ‘em I’m done ‘cause you put that Uncle Tom in the way of progress, that’s what you did. I told you I wasn’t going to work alongside him. He ain’t doing nothing for black people. He did it for himself.”
“You grew up in Malibu. You ain’t had to worry about getting a wetsuit, getting a board… you never had to do that!”