February 26, 2012 will mark the night that a young black man headed to a store in Florida for a snack and something to drink, was killed by an overzealous neighborhood watch captain. Out of this fateful night spawn something I have entitled the Trayvon Effect.
I know what you are thinking what does he mean by Trayvon Effect? One thing that came out of this incident and became the focal point of the whole incident was what Trayvon was wearing that night. He was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, and reportedly had the hood on his head at the time of the incident. This black hoodie would take center stage in this case, and became the center piece for protests that followed.
From that night the energy of the hoodie permeates black culture especially black males today. Now everywhere I turn here in Chicago I see black males wearing hoodies on their head even in the summer, when temperatures are 80 degrees plus. This behavior on the surface does not make sense, why would someone want to wear a hooded sweatshirt when it is hot? And why would someone want to wear one with the hood on their head? In the age of social media the way people follow trends is something we have never seen before. Did black males wear hoodies before this incident? The answer is sure, I contend before this incident nobody walked around with a hood on their head in the middle of summer. What this shows that there is a void of leadership especially male leadership in the black community. The impact that social media has had on how information is decimated, and the powerful influence on culture more than ever male role models are needed to offer guidance.
Maybe my upbringing was unique maybe I’m getting old, and looking to deep into the fashion trend of the hoodie. I was taught by my father and my grandfather not to walk around with a hood on your head. Growing up in Chicago it was understood that you did not walk around with your hood up. All it did was make you an easy target for the police.
It is my humble opinion that nowadays one has to be careful and question why certain things become trendy. Sure fashion styles come and go, but we are witnessing a different type energy with the hoodie phenomenon. So next time you put your hoodie on black man stop and ask yourself. Do I need this hood on my head? Why Am I putting this hood on my head? Is this a conscious decision? Or are you just living out a program that has been downloaded into your subconscious? Just some food for thought.