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The Well Dressed Man Makes a Comeback

In the area that I lived in growing up, the system for integrating schools started the first few years at the Elementary and Middle School level. I was one of the first black males to attend an “integrated” Junior High School (7th and 8th Grades) in my county.There were a whopping 2 black boys and 5 black girls that first year in a school of 1800.

My father took me out “shopping” before the first class, and purchased for me 5 white shirts, and several ties. My Dad was known by friends and family for always wearing crisp white shirts,a tie, and a suit to work every day. He was a strong believer in looking respectable to be respected.

Every morning he would check me to make sure I had my “uniform” on before school. Heaven help me if I stopped by on the way home for a game of baseball with the other kids in the neighborhood and got my clothes dirty!

As we got to know each other better, some of the white kids would tease me about always wearing a tie to school – and being the “best dressed” kid in Junior High. They would ask why I always wore a white shirt and tie – I just passed it off as a “Dad thing”.

I found later in the business world that how people perceived you, and how well your initial introductions went depended highly on how well you were dressed. A Sales guy in the company I worked for at the time taught me to always dress one cut above the client, and that the perception of being successful was just as important as the fact itself.

The goal was to look professional, and as I rose in the ranks, the make, quality, fabric, and cut of your suit and accessories indicated whether you “belonged”.

Look professional…To be professional Glad to see some youngsters have figured this out.

How the Well Dressed Movement Demolished Black Stereotypes

Kwame Phipps looking great at Syracuse University

Three African-American students at Syracuse coincidentally dressed up on the same day, and soon decided to form a movement to combat prejudice sartorially.

I met Kwame Phipps five years ago, at the end of his junior year in high school, through a Harlem-based youth development organization to help him apply to college. He was always neatly dressed and attentive to his grooming. So I am not surprised he would become a founder of the Well Dressed Movement at Syracuse University to promote better dress habits among his peers.

One reason I volunteered to mentor students like Kwame is that media portrayals of young black men have burdened them with numerous disquieting stereotypes. Like many stereotypes people affix to particular groups, they are highly simplistic and often neglect larger societal issues that produce and perpetuate misperceptions. Such perceptions prove harmful to nearly all black men. Young men like Phipps are often overlooked in such generalizations, so he and his friends have taken conscious steps to dispel negative myths.

Phipps, a 2016 Syracuse graduate, and his roommates, Joshua Collins and Elijah Biggins, started the Well Dressed Movement as a direct effort to counter some misperceptions. In 2014, their sophomore year, each had dressed up one day, but Phipps said, “It was random. I had an internship, Josh had a job interview, and Eli had a class presentation.” Unaware each had dressed up, “we left our apartment at different times and met later at the library for a social. Everyone saw us and asked why we were dressed up. We pretended it was intentional and said it was “Well Dressed Wednesday.” From there, they decided to make a Wednesday tradition of dressing up and enlisted their friends to join them.

They began the Well Dressed Movement in the wake of high profile killings of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, and college campuses were rife with discussion about race. Syracuse was no different. Phipps said there was extensive racist dialogue in online articles in the school newspaper, The Daily Orange, and on Yik Yak, a location-based social media platform popular on college campuses.

“My friends and I are from inner city Philadelphia, Paterson (New Jersey), and New York City,” and they felt the sting of such commentary. Dressing up was a constructive response to address perceptions others might have about them. They took inspiration from earlier black pioneers who tackled social justice issues. The group’s motto, When you look good, you feel good,facilitated engagement with their peers. Their movement took hold and spread to other campuses, including Binghamton, Cornell, Howard, and Pace universities and Utica College, which validated their efforts.

Looking good takes money, however. As budget-conscious millennials, they shopped at H&M, Zara, local thrift stores, and they tracked sale items at Macy’s. It was worth the effort. Phipps said dressing up without a specific purpose elicited positive responses from those with whom he interacted, and it instilled a professional mindset in him.

“Dressing up on campus prepped me for interviews,” he said. “I already had the pieces, so I didn’t have to think about it too much. Because I had already experimented with different combinations, I can put on an outfit and be confident beforehand.”

Practice paid off: While still in school, he had internships and summer jobs at places like the Ford Foundation and the Department of Housing and Urban Development in Washington.

Phipps described his style as “trendy with my own personal touch.” A wardrobe necessity for him is “a navy blue suit, because you can dress it up or dress it down. It’s a suit you can match with other pants or jackets.” He added, “You can use it for going out, a job interview, to go to dinner. It’s a good essential to start with.”

 

Detailing with colors and accessories is his personal touch. “I like to incorporate hints of gold, if possible.” When it comes to ties, Phipps said, “I mainly choose neckties, because when you’re dressing up, you have more options. A bow tie is more extravagant and you’re making a statement with one. And not a lot of bow ties go with certain shirt combinations.” A final item for him, the pocket square, which “adds a nice touch to your outfit. You can find a set on Amazon or eBay for $10.” When he’s dressed casually, however, Phipps prefers jeans, Adidas, and Nikes. “I also like classic T-shirts and bomber jackets,” he added….Read the rest here

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wRHBLwpASw

 
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Posted by on November 2, 2016 in The New Jim Crow, The Post-Racial Life

 

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Autistic 15 Year OLd Black KId Assaulted by White Man – Police Refuse to Prosecute

Like a kid in track shots and a High School labelled T is a threat…

This one is utter bullshit by the Syracuse Police.

Autistic black teen got lost running a 5K — and was assaulted by a man who feared getting mugged

For more than two years, Clarise Coleman faithfully attended every track practice and every cross-country meet for her son, Chase.

Part of it was being a supportive parent, proud that Chase had finally found “his sport.” Coleman loved the camaraderie that the cross-country team gave her 15-year-old freshman, even if it meant frequently road-tripping from their home in Syracuse for meets all around New York state.

But as the mother of a nearly nonverbal autistic child, Coleman also knew that she needed to be there for Chase in case he needed help. She often scouted out racecourses ahead of time, noting where the lanky teenager might get lost or confused, as he often did.

A few weeks ago, her worst fears came true when Chase — who was running in a meet in Rochester, N.Y., with his team from Corcoran High School — was assaulted by a stranger in the middle of a race.

Coleman had been waiting for him near the reservoir in Cobb’s Hill Park, at a part of the course where runners would come down a hill — but Chase never appeared. So as she often would do at meets, she went looking for him.

“I started walking that direction, and I’m screaming his name out: ‘Keep going, Chase!’” Coleman told The Washington Post. “And a young lady came up to me and said, ‘Are you looking for one of your runners?’ … She said, ‘Some man just assaulted him.’ ”

Coleman ran in the direction the woman pointed and soon saw her son walking toward her, accompanied by a bicyclist who had assisted him.

“I asked, ‘Is Chase okay?’ ” Coleman said, adding that one often needs to speak to Chase in the third person. “I check his body. I’m checking his face. I pulled his shirt. ‘Show Mommy where Chase hurts.’ ”

Chase put his hand on his back. “Back,” he said. 

When Coleman was told what witnesses saw, her fears deepened.

The female witness, identified in a police report as Collin Thompson, told police that she had seen Chase running in the middle of the road. Thompson then witnessed an older white male get out of his car, according to a police incident report. Thompson said the man approached Chase and pushed him to the ground, after which he yelled, “Get out of here.”

The other witness, Kris Van Metter, told Syracuse.com that he had just finished a bicycle ride when he saw the same scene.

“I see a grown man, who is quite tall and fairly heavy … exit the vehicle and give this young man a shove that puts him back 10 feet and flat on his butt,” Van Metter told the news site. “Like, just shoved him across the road. The kid didn’t seem to be doing anything but standing there, obviously had nothing in his hands and weighed all of 130 pounds. This guy was easily twice that.”

Neither Thompson nor Van Metter could be reached Sunday.

They had, however, caught the man’s license plate number and police used it to track down a 57-year-old man named Martin MacDonald at his home in Pittsford, a suburb of Rochester, the incident report said.

When a deputy visited MacDonald’s home, he admitted he had pushed Chase to the ground, the report said.

“When [the deputy] asked him why he did that, he replied that he thought Chase was going to mug his wife and take her purse,” the incident report said. “MacDonald’s wife was sitting in the front passenger seat at the time of the [incident]. When [the deputy] asked him why he thought that, MacDonald told him that some youths had broke into his car recently and that crossed his mind. MacDonald went on to say that Chase wasn’t responding to him telling him to move out of the road.”

Coleman said the Rochester police relayed MacDonald’s explanation to her — noting that it had been black youths who had allegedly broken into MacDonald’s car — and she was aghast that this could be used to justify an attack on Chase.

“I said, impossible. That’s a lie. Chase don’t even know how to defend himself. What? He can barely ride a bike,” Coleman said. “[Chase] was in a uniform. He had a number pinned to him. How did you think that he was out trolling to steal your car? … You can’t tell me that it wasn’t because my son wasn’t black. There were Asian kids, there were Caucasian kids. But you picked the black kid to say, ‘That crossed my mind’?” …Read the Rest Here

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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