If you frequent this site you know I went to Morehouse and love my alma mater dearly.
However, this is some bullsh*t.
(By the way, I really didn’t mean to do two HBCU posts in a row. I know how some of you folks feel about the HBCUs around here.)
Apparently, the higher ups and our new President, Dr. Howard Franklin, feel the need to ensure that the image of the Morehouse Man and the reality of the Morehouse Man are one and the same. To wit:
“Appropriate Attire Policy”. Based on Dr. Franklin’s conceptualization on the Renaissance Man, specifically his expectation of the “well-dressed” man of Morehouse, the policy will set a campus-wide standard for student’s attire.
The policy outlines 11 expectations pertaining to what students should not wear while on campus. Instead of requiring certain articles of clothing, as a typical dress code would, the policy details those articles of clothing deemed unacceptable for students. Some of the expectations discussed in the policy include to prohibit wearing “sagging” pants, women’s clothing, and headwear.
Now slap me silly and call me Susan J. Elmo, but I’m really curious about this need to outlaw women’s clothing. Granted its been years since I was at the ‘House but I do not remember anybody actually walking around looking like Lady Gaga or anything. But hey, you never know with these kids nowadays.
Anyway, I have a beef with this new policy on a principle level. For one, college is a time for self-expression and self-discovery. Attempting to limit the scope of one’s dress seems kind of counterproductive to what college is all about. For b, you can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig. We’ll get back to that one in a minute though.
Forget about the fact that it’s Morehouse for a second. The fact that any school college or university would take it upon itself to limit the clothing choices of its student body is kind of troubling to me. To me, it assumes that they have no concept of what is appropriate or that a bunch of 18 to 22 year olds who are learning about life should be forced to view themselves through only one lens. While I can understand the disdain for sagging pants, I think that its a fad and trend of the culture right now. Fads end and when folks get older and start looking for jobs, they come to their senses and pull their pants up. It happens to most of us reading Black men. We all eventually learn to know better.
But I also have an issue with this whole “image” thing that we in the Black community are so obsessed with. The reason you incorporate a dress code is so that these men can uphold one particular image of what a Morehouse Man should be. The great thing about Morehouse and one reason it’s so successful and well-known is because of the variety of individuals who’ve come out of Morehouse. And all that starts with things as insignificant as establishing your own identity through dress early on in life. Catering to this “image” is putting the school above the individual when its the accomplishments of the individuals that have placed Morehouse at the pinnacle of the Black community in the first place.
Plus, these are grown ass men that you’re telling how to dress. On just a surface level, what does that say about the quality of the individuals you’re bringing in that you feel a need to explicitly tell them what they cannot wear on campus? Not really giving them much credit, are they?
But it all comes back to image. To the old vanguard, there is this pristine image of a Morehouse Man and the new administration wants to make sure that the current crop looks the part at all times, which is great, but once again, you can put a thug in a suit, but then all you have is a thug in a suit. Morehouse is a school, much like other HBCUs that builds character and we all grow by being at those schools. Attempting to limit something like clothing and individual style (face it, that’s what dress codes do, they limit styles for certain people) does nothing but stifle growth.
Anyway, I’ve said my peace and I’m a grown ass man who doesn’t go there anymore. But my free-dressing compadres of the VSB, what are your thoughts on this, on a larger scale? Does it seem necessary to have to provide a dress code to grown men? Is it reasonable? Or is this just more Black pandering to an “image” as opposed to the reality?
Say you, say me.
What say you?
-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST aka TANGLE JIG P aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL, HE A 3