People’s perspective of a black man varies from person to person. Those who are not acquainted with black men are left to their own devices, and external sources such as magazine articles, news reports, newspapers television and the Internet to develop a view of black men. Often what is displayed tends to carry demeaning [negative] assumptions about the general population of black men. Some of these assumptions include that black men dress usually reflects the 90’s Hip-Hop theme– with the connotation of unprofessionalism, black men speak in an uneducated manner, and Rap and Hip-Hop is for us, hence it being the genre of music we listen to. Contrary to these beliefs and assumption, there are many black men who do not meet the standards of those assumptions. For example me, due to my social and religious environments my behavior tends to differ greatly in comparison to a typically black man. From my appearance, my walk, my talk, to my mentality, my thoughts and general outlook on life; my personality usually does not measure p to the usual perception of a typically black man. Because I do no live up to the status quo, my identification as a black man continues to be questioned and misunderstood.
Similar to Judith Cofer’s dilemma in The Myth of the Latin Woman:/ Just Met a Girl Named Maria, finding the right clothes to wear is difficult task:
…I appeared at an American friend’s party wearing a dress suitable to a semiformal than to a playroom birthday celebration… I knew how to dress for school: at the Catholic school I attended we all wore uniforms; I knew how to dress for Sunday mass, and I knew what to wear for parties at my relatives’ homes. (Cofer pg. 204)
Baggy pants hanging off their waist, with a Notorious B.I.G. shirt, and a hoodie is mostly likely the first image that appears in some mind’s when they are they are thinking young black males. However for some black men, myself included, that style of clothing does not appeal to us. As Cofer did, I too attended very religious Seventh-day Adventist private schools, where uniforms were wore everyday. Although I had attended public school prior to private school, the value and beliefs taught in my private were the same that I learned from my family. Thus resulting in the contrast in my behavior, appearance, and attitude.
I realized this difference m first day of high school in a public school. I recall waking up to the smell of a freshly ironed uniform, eagerly waiting to wear it to school. Once I got to school I quickly noticed that I was one of probably three students wearing the school’s uniform. Out of obedience to my mother, I continued to wear my uniform at least three times a week. For my following years of high school I was left to decide whether or not I will wear uniform. Besides school uniforms, my closet consisted of church [formal] attire, and semiformal attire; making it inevitable for me to wear either or to school. So I continued to wear my uniform along with my formal and...