Kelcey Henderson loves to explore new things. The writer and California native recently participated in A Great Day in the Stoke at Huntington Beach to learn how to surf. She had a successful day and left the beach with an appetite for lunch and a new skill.
Moments before her lessons, Henderson spoke to rolling out.Why are you here at A Great Day in the Stoke?
I’m here because I love [seeing] Black people in every element. Seeing us in the water, seeing us surfing, it’s something that you don’t see often.They also [have] given the opportunity for us to learn how to do it as well. So I took advantage of that and decided to do a free lesson. I’m excited to step into something new. I’m always open to new experiences and opportunities.
Yeah, I’m just excited to see where this takes me and also excited to be embraced by [a] community that’s willing to take me in and teach me this new thing. I’m excited for this day.
You’re a California native, right?
Yes. Born and raised in California. From the valley. [I’m a] valley girl.
Was surfing something you just never tried?
I just never [got] into it.
I feel like, as a Black person, too, we’re always keen [on] basketball, football, and track, but surfing is another sport we can take advantage of. I think [it’s] because I didn’t see other examples of people doing it that look like me. I never even thought [to be like], “Oh, I can do that, too.” You know. So I love that those doors and opportunities are just [opening wide open]. And I’m here to try it.
What do you want to say about hosting this event to A Great Day in the Stoke founder Nate Fluellen?
Nate, thank you so much for this opportunity. Thank you for creating spaces for people to experience new things and just breaking the barriers, showing that it doesn’t matter what color, what race, what gender you are, [like,] if there’s an opportunity, you [have] got to take advantage of it.
It’s always great to see new experiences and [to try] out new opportunities. Thank you for paving the way and making this happen.
What’s the importance of Black people doing and trying different things?
I think it’s important for Black people to know that we’re not in a box. We are able to explore things we have never tapped into before.
I think it’s important to show we can be great in anything we [choose]. You see Coco [Gauff] just won the U.S. Open at 19 years old. For her, there was a video of her when she was a kid at the U.S. Open, seeing Venus and Serena, so it’s just showing the next generation we can be all that we can be.
I’m just excited for the greatness that’s going to come after this.
Source: Rolling Out