For those of you that caught the BET awards Sunday night, there were so many great moments throughout the evening. From Beyonce’s surprise opening to Sheila E’s banger closing, I couldn’t keep still! The one message that reigned true all night was the sense of urgency when it comes to the present and future of the African American community. You could hear the passion in each acceptance speech that addressed the importance of voting this year. One speech in particular had everyone on their feet. Actor/activist Jesse Williams, recipient of the BET humanitarian award reflected on all of the violence endured by our community. He did a great job educating and petitioning a call to action. As someone who loves fashion but was never pressured into labels, there was one thing he said that really hit home.
“Dedicating our lives to get money, just to give it right back, just to get someone’s brand on our bodies. When we’ve spent centuries praying with brands on our bodies!”
What a powerful statement! I sat here meditating on the power of brands in our community. Just think about the pressure our young people feel at school to fit in based on what they wear. Better yet, think about the turmoil some of us experience when an event requires us to “dress to impress.” Fashion should never bully, instead fashion should be a state of freedom. There’s nothing wrong with brands, but they should never run our lives or wreck our revenue. Fashion exist to enhance the creativity and individuality that already exists in us! BE FREE!