Robert Odell, Jr. enjoys sharing the rich history and culture of Memphis, Tennessee, where he has lived and worked for several years.
The majority of people on earth want to live in peace. Two athletes, trained, groomed, and inspired by The Beale Street Flippers of Memphis, Tennessee, did a flip for peace. They displayed their fantastic talents by turning flips in "A Flip for Peace," a public service commercial about a nonviolent way to settle a disagreement.
They Agree to Settle With a Flip
A Flip for Peace is an advertisement dealing with a peaceful method of settling a dispute. Controversy ensues when two teams, eager to play, think they are next in line on the public basketball court. The opposing sides agree to let a flip decide which group will gain the next game-play. Suddenly, while waiting on a coin toss, one side realizes they agreed to do the best acrobatic flip. Because they can’t do acrobatic flips, the team unable to comply loses by default. As a result, they need to wait a while longer until the next spot opens up.
The Beale Street Flippers trained both athletes in the ad to do acrobatic flips. An acrobatic flip starts with a handspring. While airborne, the person rotates one or more times. After turning, the performer lands upright on their feet. The acrobatic stunts of The Beale Street Flippers are amazing. Even more surprising is where they flip. I have personally witnessed the Beale Street Flippers jump on cobblestone streets, and those streets are hard, uneven, and rugged. Seeing them on Beale Street, doing acrobatic flips without a trampoline or net, will take your breath away and is a wonder to behold.
Breathtaking Acrobatic Stunts
Beale Street Flippers History
The Beale Street Flippers:
- Kicked off with Rarecas "Rod" Bonds, who started flipping at the age of six
- Began in the 1980s, right after the Beale Street renovations in Memphis
- Included brothers and cousins
- Performed in Canada, Germany, and China
The Athletes Perform on Cobblestones
The Guinness Book of World Records
On September 02, 2007, The Beale Street Flippers made The Guinness Book of World Records for the most extended backflip. The flip was 3 meters 75 centimeters (12 feet 3 inches). The solo team member, who performed the record-setting feat, did so while flipping over a row of seven crouching men.
Prestige and Fame
The variety of Beale Street tourists from different parts of the world spread the news of The Beale Street Flippers. As a result, the athletes gained prestige and fame.
National and International Recognition
The Beale Street Flippers got worldwide recognition by performing at NBA games. They also flipped at college half-time shows.
America's Got Talent
On Tuesday, August 11, 2009, America’s Got Talent showcased The Beale Street Flippers. They amazed the entire nation as they advanced to round four of the program.
Should They Have Won?
As the cohorts of founder Rarecas Bonds continue to groom, train, and mentor each generation of Beale Street Flippers, new and exciting opportunities come their way.
The flippers from Beale Street have flipped:
- At Baseball stadiums
- Trade show events
- Business conferences
Many of The Beale Street Flippers grew up in poverty. They lived in the dangerous part of town, known as "the hood." Beale Street has spawned a legitimate form of financial security for the well-trained acrobats from Memphis.
Inspired to Flip
If you ask The Beale Street Flippers and those mentored by them what stimulates them to indulge in the art of acrobatic flipping, you will hear what they have said to many fans.
The inspiration for the spellbinding flippers is to flip for their children, family, and themselves.
The talent that the young athletes display in the public service commercial, A Flip for Peace, shows that Memphis, Tennessee's Beale Street Flippers, are coming into their own. They are exploring new entertainment venues and neighborhood involvement projects.
As they live out their dreams, The Beale Street Flippers continue to mentor, train, groom, inspire, and pass their skills to new generations of athletes. Their passion for flipping has created a bright future for themselves and a wonder for the world to see.
A. (2009, August 11). Americas Got Talent - Beale Street Flippers - Quarter-Finals Performance. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/vQRXzCm-7tc
ODELL, R. (2016, April 28). Flip For Peace. Retrieved December 03, 2020, fromhttps://youtu.be/t7_N4rZDa5A
S. (2014, September 03). America's got talent 2009 Beale Street Flippers audition. Retrieved December 03, 2020, from https://youtu.be/kYebguZG9uE
W. (2007, September 01). Longest backflip world record 3m 75cm Beale Street flippers. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/cSTadSLxSvs
© 2015 Robert Odell Jr