Somehow I TOTALLY forgot to mention that I was interviewed months back by Our Weekly LA! What is wrong with me?
The interview discusses the current state of fashion amongst African American males and how things have evolved over the past few years, my perspective on it and how I applied that during my days as an elementary and middle school teacher.
To elaborate on what I told OW, during my days as an instructor the reason for the way I carried myself and dressed so well everyday was for three reasons: First, it's just in me and I would have done it no matter where I worked. Second, was to command the respect of my students. I'm very young and at the time was even younger and my students picked up on it immediately. Everyone, even children's, perception of people is largely formed by personal style. I wanted to be taken serious as an authority figure, so I dressed like one. While simultaneously conveying that I was in fact young and wasn't too far out of touch with my students. Lastly, the majority of the kids I taught were from the inner city. The only examples most of them had of a Black man was the thugs and gangsters in their neighborhoods. My goal was to show them that they have options and there are more promising alternatives for their lives. A goal I believe I accomplished. By the end of the school year they were mimicking me before I'd realized it. Their speech patterns changed, their pants somehow found their way to the waist and they couldn't stop talking about attending Morehouse College...and USC. Haha!
To read the interview in its entirety, click here.