I heard a story on NPR this morning about “scraper bikes” that really got me thinking (and feeling). Scraper bikes are all the rage in Oakland amongst kids that don’t have enough money for cars. No, scraper bikes haven’t saved anyone’s soul or paid anyone’s way through Harvard. But, they do represent these kids taking control of their own lives and their own destinies through creative expressions and solutions.

The thing I love most in this (homemade, mind you) video is the shot of them all riding through their town in a giant pack, taking over the streets. I think these kids would scare the hell out of most of the people reading this blog (even me). But, that’s why I like it so much. These kids didn’t suddenly stop being African American teens in Oakland. They didn’t magically become white, middle class kids. They are what they are, and they are finding the inherent positivity in order to keep themselves out of trouble – doing it the way they want, looking the way they want, on their own initiative. In my day, we called that “being punk”. Now that I am old, I just think it is damn cool – and, it represents a hopeful future for America.

You can also check out their myspace pages.