"How do you co-op a Black woman’s work just like that? Proof that they take EVERYTHING from us."
The World Surf League’s CEO Erik “Elo” Logan has had his and his company’s woke bona fides socked by the founder of Black Girls Surf, Rhonda “Rokki” Harper, in a powerful screed posted to Facebook.
(Black Girls Surf was established in 2014 “for young girls/women surfers of the African diaspora. BGS is training and coaching the next gen of surfers ages 5-17.”)
“Part of ‘fighting systemic racism’ includes honoring the labor of Black women, not taking credit for it or using it as inspo for brand activations,” writes Harper. “Listen to this part of the Action Sports + Culture conference I sat and watched in absolute horror. Proof that they take EVERYTHING from us. According to Erik Logan, WSL is responsible for their BLM response and it started with Tyler Wright. I told you the Encinitas George Floyd paddle out was a performance more than a social justice moment. He invokes Harpo…Oprah’s company during this same interview. How do you co-op a Black woman’s work just like that?”
It isn’t the first time Elo’s woke bona fides have been questioned.
Earlier the year, we asked, Is the WSL festishising people of colour and is it this patronising approach masquerading as progressive values that has its potential audience staying away in droves?
And it ain’t the first time Rhonda’s bitten hard on mainstream surf.
Four months ago, Harper called surf identity Sal Masekela an “Uncle Tom” and accused the popular commentator and musician of “bringing negativity and dividing black people.”
“He hasn’t done nothing for black people in surfing!” said Harper, after Sal spoke at a George Floyd paddle-out in Encinitas, a speech described by Stab “as so powerful that it reverberates deep in our core.”
Harper said, “I can’t believe your daddy is Hugh Masekela who was down there with apartheid and you act like this!”