As American society struggles to deal with the realities of its racial divide and inequality, I find myself reading more to learn about the history of the country that I now call home.
Not too long ago, I came across a story that despite the feelings of sadness it evoked also encouraged and inspired me. In July of 1966, about a year after the Watts riots erupted, Life Magazine did a cover story following up on conditions and feelings in the community. The editors at Life recently revisited the piece and wrote:
"A year after the flames were put out and the smoke cleared from the southern California sky, LIFE revisited the scene of the devastation for a “special section” in its July 15, 1966, issue that the magazine called “Watts: Still Seething.” A good part of that special section featured a series of color photos made by Bill Ray on the streets of Watts: pictures of stylish, even dapper, young men making and hurling Molotov cocktails; of children at play in back yards and in rubble-strewn lots; of wary police and warier residents; of a community struggling to save itself from drugs, gangs, guns, idleness and decades of despair."
While the issues were and continue to be much deeper than clothes or outward appearance, the photos showed how these young men refused to let the extremely oppressive environment they had to live in define how they presented themselves. To me, they also remind me of a time (in this case not even that long ago) when men took pride in how they showed up.
"Behold the turtle. He only makes progress when he sticks his neck out" - James Bryant Conant. This blog is documentation of my journey, sticking my neck out to pursue my passion for men's style and tailoring.