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.