HBCU Writers's Project
For Immediate Release
December 04, 2012
Contact Information

Sydnee Mitchell
Florida A&M University

(BPRW) Materialistic Millennials

(BLACK PR WIRE/FAMU-TALLAHASSEE) "" "We shine because they hate us. Floss cause they degrade us," Kanye West so eloquently stated in a verse from "All Falls Down." This song was featured in his debut album, "College Dropout" in an attempt to appeal to college students. Studies show the majority of African-American college students value material things and technology greatly. Are students focusing more on their wardrobes and accessories or their education?

What are the contributing factors as to why African Americans in the United States spend so frivolously on clothing, cars and hair extensions? According to an article on bmia.wordpress.com, "Black households spent more than $507 billion dollars in 2009. These families spent $321 million on books that year and $29.3 billion on apparel." Some might see it as gaining riches, but maybe it is a feeling of inadequacy in disguise. The veil of prosperity masks the face of self-consciousness and can subconsciously ward off feelings of inferiority.

Both black and white students have the resources and the capabilities to gain wealth, but it seems as though black students would rather spend $200 on shoes and then complain they do not have enough money for educational accessories such as textbooks. Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Fla. is leading by example. They have raised the bar by insisting they dress for success.

Tahseen Tunsill, a student studying business management says, "We, as a community, value the look and feel of luxury. We are obsessed with our image and reputations which can sometimes be a distraction to ourselves and others." A dress code policy is fully enforced in particular schools such as the School of Business and the School of Journalism & Graphic Design. "My professor told us that we must dress for the career we want, not the job we have. My peers and I dress in suits on a regular basis and in business casual on more chill days."

A less distracting learning environment is one where students express their individuality through personality and scholastic achievements rather than outward appearances. They should wear apparel that promotes focus on academics, not fashion, and maintain a neat, businesslike persona. Dressing professionally brings positivity to a university in the media. It can also instill a sense of school pride and boost campus morale.