Power Tees by Jovan O’Connor
This Collection is inspired by the youth of Urban America. We have all been witnessing many incidents throughout our country that threaten the livelihood of our youth, from police shootings and school shootings, to peer violence and bullying. Although segregation has ended over a half century ago, we are still dealing with people being arrested for sitting in a public place. These incidences have sparked a wave of hopelessness and low morale.
In Fashion, we have seen a young Black youth depicted on a shirt wit a slogan that to some, was highly offensive and symbolized a negative connotation; that a young black man and his place in society is trivialized.
On the contrary, we have witnessed the success of Black Panther, a movie that depicts a society of people of African descent as great warriors, innovators, diplomats, kings, and queens. We all left the theater with a new sense of pride and awareness of who we are and the potential of who we can be.
The POWER Tee Collection makes a statement that despite what society may perceive of the youth of Urban America, we are GREAT. What we have contributed to society is PRICELESS. We are not allowing anyone else to define who we are. We don’t lack direction, we are MASTERMINDS. We are not nobodies, we are ICONS. We are not stupid, we are GENIUSES. We are not bad role models; we are MENTORS. We are not uneducated; we are SCHOLARS. We are not uninspired; we are VISIONARIES. We are not angry black women; we are QUEENS. We are not menaces; we are MOGULS. We are not criminals; we are LEGENDS. We are not low-class citizens; we are PRESIDENTS.
Special thanks to the youth of Jovan O’Connor’s Fashion 101 Program at the Lenfest Center. You have inspired me to see and celebrate your greatness.