Stories of the open road

Tales of a Vagabond...

By Pathum Punchihewa

The Skinhead culture has a variety of subcultures within the culture
itself due to the evolution and separation of different groups of
skinheads. The Skinhead subculture originated in the mid to late 60s and
was created by the working class community that had a strong fondness
for fashion and music.

Soul, ska, bluebeat, and rocksteady music were the favorite genres of
original Skinheads. They were also highly influenced by the Jamaican
Rude Boy subculture, Reggae, and Rastafarianism.

As always in history, from this original subculture many other styles
and forms of Skinhead subcultures sprouted. Regardless of most of them
having similar styles to us all, subtle differences separate the groups.
Despite their similar styles they can have vastly diverse beliefs and

This article is going to focus on a particular group of Skinheads
called “Sharp” which stands for Skinheads against Racial Prejudice.
“Sharp” originated in New York in 1987 by Marcus Pacheco to demonstrate
that the skinhead subculture was not based on racist beliefs or
political extremism.

The “Sharp” subculture was spread to the UK after a visit by a member
of the band The Oppressed who then began to promote the “Sharp” morals
to British skinheads. The “Sharp” subculture was then spread throughout
Europe but took on a stance that was more founded upon the individual
rather than the group as a whole.

The core values and beliefs which Sharp skinheads hold, is something
with strong hatred for Nazism and Communism. They also embrace much
value in the working class people, since they are from the working class
community. But the main belief that unites all “Sharp” skinheads is the
strong opposition to racism.

The non-material culture that makes the “Sharp” skinheads distinct from
the mainstream culture is their strong beliefs in the anti-communism
and anti-racist beliefs. The SHARPs have almost an extreme position
against racism which makes them stand out in the fight against racism
around the world.


Published on Youth Mirror - Daily Mirror (26 August 2010)


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