The Hoodie and Social Justice

October 04, 2016

The Hoodie and Social Justice

One of the most highly anticipated Netflix show's launched on Friday, Marvel's Luke Cage. The story is about a reluctant hero trying to do not only what is best for Harlem but find his place in the world. In the process going through a lot of wardrobe changes since his clothes don't share his invulnerability to bullets. One of his signature looks is the hoodie- and this was an intentional decision. In a recent interview with the Huffington Post, Mike Colter shares that the visuals and symbolisms of Luke Cage can not be more relevant in today's social climate:

"I can't imagine anything a black man would want to be more right now than bulletproof. It’s a nod to Trayvon (Martin), no question,” Colter said. “Trayvon Martin and people like him. People like Jordan Davis, a kid who was shot because of the perception that he was a danger. When you’re a black man in a hoodie, all of a sudden you’re a criminal. That’s something we shouldn’t have to deal with, but we do. It’s a double standard. We can’t cover our head when it’s cold and raining because God forbid someone sees us and puts our life in danger. We wanted to pay homage to that—it’s not something we were shying away from.”

It's powerful to see how just a hoodie can make an important social statement. What we wear can bring both disgrace and bring dignity. A basic coat can empower, inspire and make a difference. Sure a a simple hoodie won't change the world overnight, but every little bit helps. Plus, I think the hoodie is an upgrade from the tiara and yellow blouse from the comics ;) Bravo Netflix for addressing such an important issue in a subversive and subtle way.

Luke Cage is more than bulletproof hero but the new series highlights a culture that is often overlooked in mainstream entertainment. Cast with a majority African-American actors, Luke Cage tells a complex story of family, crime, culture as well as what it means to be a hero. Check it out on Netflix. Read the entire fascinating interview and thoughts on culture on the Huffington Post.


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