BBC News – Why 56 black men are posing in hoodies
So Cephas Williams is fed up with being lumped in with the “hoodie” stereotype.
But he says people don’t see him for the person he is – and are quick to judge and stereotype him.
Perhaps he needs to take a closer look at the CCTV images showing yobs terrorising neighbourhoods, showing the folks robbing local newsagents and betting shops. Take note of how many of the perpetrators are wearing hoodies. Admittedly they are not all black. But the ubiqitous hoodie is there to the fore.
Cephas is right that it is wrong to judge people by their colour and by the clothes they wear. But with, regard to the hoodie, I think he probably needs to remove himself from that stereotype, before society as a whole will change their perception.
I for one, wrongly perhaps, tend to view a group of youngsters wearing hoodies in a totally different way than I would, perhaps, if that same group were wearing jackets and scarves.
“I know so many black men doing great things, as postmen, nurses, city traders and fathers. But when these guys put on a hoodie, their success becomes almost invisible.
“I want to live in a society where I can put on a pair of sweatpants and a hoodie and be seen as who I am: not a thug or a brute, but just a guy going to the gym after a long day at work.”
The same is true of all people, not just black men and women. None of us are carrying signs identifying our achievements, our individual characters or our intent.
It’s unfortunately a fact of life that the hoodie has taken the place of the criminals use of the balaclava / ski-mask and tights.
Personally, I wouldn’t be seen dead in a hoodie. That’s my choice, it seems to much like a uniform to me. Due to my size and the way I have my hair cropped short, people may view me as a thug. They don’t know me and they don’t know how far wrong they are. But I don’t care, I am who I am. If they choose to find out who that is, that’s up to them.
To be quite honest I get a little tired of hearing how society has to change to suit individuals rather than the otherway round.
And finally …
“I am taking the shoehorn out and showcasing a bagga man who are doing great things and – who look like me.”
I had to google the above to understand what Cephas was trying to say. And while I get it, methinks he should know his audience. If he wants to feel included he shouldn’t alienate folks by using Jamaican patois.