Dear young Black men. Sag your pants if you want to. Wear super tight skinny jeans if you want to. Wear hoodies if you want to. Wear your long locks, your dashiki, cover yourself in tattoos - yes even on your face. Wear all white. It is not true that if we dress the way that whiteness determine is the most 'professional' that you will be granted more freedom, more jobs, better salaries or will it keep you out of prison. The prison is full of generations of Black men who never sagged their pants at all. Black men have never made more than .74 for every dollar a white man makes extending as far back to 1970, when it was .69 and I imagine these men were not sagging their pants either.
When white people went all the way to the African continent to get out of doing work (only to turn around and call us lazy after African enslaved people have literally done all the work) and they saw us as kings, queens, farmers, artists, weavers and we were also not sagging our pants, they still began a genocide whose effects persist even today. If that was all it took, just to dress like they say, or speak like they say and only when spoken to, then don't you think our ancestors would have tried that? And in fact many of them did, tried very hard to meet all the standards that were established, assimilated into their schools, adopted their religion, speaking their language and we still are not free. Black men get shot and murdered in suits, and sweaters, black boys in tshirts and hoodies. The way that they dress has NOTHING to do with the war that has been declared on their bodies. I applaud every Black man trying to stay alive, saying fuck you to #respectabilitypolitics with your braidup tight and the ones who hold their own in a suit and those wearing long robes. I will always fight for your right to wear whatever you please, and to have the self-determination to make your own choices about your bodies.