Yes, you heard that right;
we do have dress codes for protests!
There have been several
protests ever since the brutal murder of George Floyd and amongst many two have
stood out quite distinctly. One of them happened to take place in Eastern
Parkway in Brooklyn in support of black Trans lives. All of the attendees wore
red bright suits, shell pink, dove grey, burgundy, jewel-toned and plaid bow
ties along with striped and white button-up shirts. In addition, there were
sundresses, tulle dresses, and sleeveless tops – all with a purpose.
Source: New York Times
This dress code was
specified by the organizers with the idea to actually reframe our narrative and then create a sense of joy in those communities to see us presented so well, as well as, marching with pride.
When you view these movements
in unity, you’d find these visuals to be strong signifiers – they remain
forever etched in your memory and crystallizes the very cause that leads to the
ultimate push. It sets a new stage. Think of the black suits and white shirts of the original civil
rights movement protests; the leathers and turtleneck adorned by the Black
Panthers; the khadi shirts and caps are worn by the followers of Mahatma Gandhi;
and the vests of the French revolutions – centuries later we’re walking the
same path with a different uniform for social justice.
In comparison, the
current movements, in particular, has been diffused quite notably, keeping in
mind the fact that most of it are being run without a proper strategy and on
social media platforms. No one is denying the outreach and multiracial
dimensions, but there’s no cohesion.
“There’s tension at this moment reflected in questions around the dress code, and to what
extent do we want to tear down the system or to what extent do we want to
reform it.” – Says Richard Ford, a professor at
Stanford Law School focused on civil rights and the author of the upcoming Dress
Codes: Crimes of Fashion and Laws of Attire.
However, the protests
in Brooklyn and South Carolina paint a different picture. It gives hope that the
major upheavals are beginning to evolve.
Perhaps the idea of using
dress codes is spreading but the timing and place need to be kept in mind?
We hope it continues and I believe optics similar to this are likely to help move the ball down the field – said Mayor Stephen K. Benjamin of Columbia
on the dress codes.