#BeBlack: The Politics of Style

Photo: Howard University students, “Don’t Shoot!” Photo taken in the aftermath of the Michael Brown shooting.

Disclaimer: This is not necessarily my usual fare. There is quite a bit of darkness in the news and I am ruminating about it quite a bit in this post. Style and fashion is part of life…and sometimes, death. These are my thoughts.

It’s been a difficult week for me. “What’s wrong?!” you may ask. Well, I’ve been watching the news. And reading the news. And, cringingly, logging onto Facebook. And Instagram. And Twitter. There is nothing on which to buoy, it seems. ISIS. The ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine. Ebola outbreaks like never before. The heinous murder of James Foley. And here at home, we have Michael Brown.

Michael Brown is not the first young man that we have lost in a police encounter gone horribly wrong but this incident, for me, like many others, struck a very particular chord. Ferguson is a situation that is quickly slipping out of control. I don’t have anything original to say, well nothing that bears repeating here, at least. Here, I’m going to be talking about the optics.

Black style has long been tied to revolutionary movements. From the Black Panthers’ para-military style, an ostentatious show of strength to the mainstreaming of Afrocentric clothing in the 90’s, the clothing of African America has always had a perspective.

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