Serena Williams wins gold medal in London and Crip Walks to victory
By Alex Alonso
Streetgangs.com Staff Writer
August 4, 2012 | 11:20 p.m.
Tennis champion Serena Williams won the gold medal in the 2012 London Olympic games on Saturday, and she celebrated her victory with a dance known as the C-Walk or Crip Walk. This dance was created in the early 1970s by a Crip member named Sugar Bear during more innocent times for this Los Angeles based street gang. The dance consists of upward foot movement bouncing on the heals and toes.
Before drugs flooded South Los Angeles, before the first Crip murder and before any of the early Crip members were sent to prison, the dance was already popular at High Schools and party locations throughout South Los Angeles among the first generation of Crips.
For over two decades the Crip Walk could only be seen performed in an inner-city hood in Los Angeles. The dance was practically unknown outside of Southern California but during the 1990s, Los Angeles based rapper WC popularized the dance and gave it new life. He was seen performing the Crip Walk in the video for the hit song Hoo Bangin’ that he recorded as a member of group, Westside Connection with Ice Cube and Mack 10. WC also performed the dance countless times on tour bringing the dance to the rest of America and the world.
Since then, with the explosion of the internet, you can find the Crip Walk performed by youth from different races and cultures from dozens of countries throughout the world as it has crossed-over into mainstream pop culture. British dance group London 5 Way mastered the the Crip Walk and have nearly 28 million views on an online video performance.
Williams performed the dance for a few seconds after her gold medal victory, not promoting or glamorizing gang culture, but to let the people know where she came from and to send a message back home that she never forgot where she came from.
Alex Alonso is an author, film maker and founder of Streetgangs.com. He is the contributing author in the 2010 book entitled “Black Los Angeles: American Dreams Racial Realities” (New York University Press). He can be reached via email, at 800-249-1324, or on Twitter.
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