Growing up as a young black male in a predominately affluent Jewish town, I was a minority scruntinized by the majority.
People based what I "should" act like, or dress like on black media images such as basketball players, rappers etc.
because of the lack of exposure they had to black people from diverse social and economic classes. The media tends to stereotype black males as all being from the "streets" thus the urban dresscode that dominates is viewed as the norm and if one does not adhere to this, they are considered different, which for the most part does not allow one to "fit-in".
Often exaggerated, fitting in is essential to all people because it provides a sense of belonging, a sense of comfort which comes from being accepted. This was the harsh reality that came to me, my second year at junior high. I thought the rules could be broken, that an exception could be made.
I believed I could dress the way I wanted and let my personality shine through the fabric that covered my body.
With this in mind I wore whatever was practical, which for me based on my family's economic status was basic Levi jeans with a T-shirt or a polo styled shirt. Nothing expensive, but nothing cheap, because my parents believed that when you bought something, you buy something good so it lasts. This was of no concern to my peers whose parents houses were on properties valued in the millions.
Around 6th grade anything Nike or Reebok was in, and if you were in them, you were in as well. I must have been ignorant to not see this, after all, how can regular nylon pants and a plain white T-shirt with a check mark on it make you as a person?.