SOCIAL STUDIES: An interview with, Darren Harper the "Official" Skateboarder of Washington, DC

John Richards @jrichards202 | 5/4/2012, 3:30 p.m.

Darren Harper: I definitively consider myself a role model, up to the fullest. I mean like a good role model ain't just, yeah he's been on the straight path, he's so, you know, straight "A" and such a good person. I think he's more so a person that's been through something and he's able to make the turn and the twist and what have you to bring himself back and reinvent himself and then go that straight route. I feel like people need to sometimes see the struggle, people like to see that you've been through the same situations so they can know it's possible. I am, you know, like the breath of fresh air to let people know that it's possible. So yeah, definitely, a role model to the fullest.

Washington Informer: What advice would you give your children to help them to avoid the mistakes you made growing up?

Darren Harper: I mean all I can do is stay on them. I'm just gonna be the father that I'm supposed to be you know. Because I mean at the end of the day (being) a good father is just (about) being there, being able to show them right from wrong. It's just about, you know, being consistently in their lives, my father wasn't consistently in my life because he was in and out of jail. Moms can't always hold it down, they need that power and voice, they need that masculine figure around, and that's what my job is.

Washington Informer: Do any of your children skate?

Darren Harper: Oh yeah, my youngest son, he loves it. We kind of like skate every other weekend, he comes down with me.

Washington Informer: If he wanted to be a pro skater, would you encourage that?

Darren Harper: Definitely, I encourage that now. I'm hoping he carries the torch when I'm done.

Washington Informer: So who are you riding for now? What sponsors do you have?

Darren Harper: Right now, I'm riding for Pit Crew, Famous Stars and Straps Clothing, Venture Trucks, Kicker Car Audio and KMC Rims. GBSC which is Good Bully Skate Code, you know we're just kicking that off actually so you know it's gonna be a skateboard brand Fresh off the press. So we're working on that and that's about it. There should be some new things to come though because I'm working my behind off.

Washington Informer: I know you have a visual arts background, are you helping out with any of the designs or anything like that?

Darren Harper: Oh yeah, I'm definitely going to be doing that, I'm drawing every day. This thing is coming to reality. I've been just drawing, on the iPad; I got some kind of app where I've just been drawing, SketchbookPro, and just drawing with the pencil in the house. I'm getting excited, art is one of those things like skating, you can give it up but it will always it be imbedded in your heart.

Washington Informer: You were supposed to compete here last year in the Maloof Money Cup...