19-Year Old Photographer Myles Loftin Humanizes & Decriminalizes Black Boys with 'HOODED' Project
HOODED is a multimedia project that humanizes and decriminalizes the societal image of black boys and black men dressed in hoodies. The media has always put a negative light onblack men in hoodies and even when you google “black boy hoodie” you get images of criminals while the search “white boy hoodie” produces cookie cutter stock photos of white teenagers smiling. I photographed four black teens/men and portrayed them in a positive light that is in direct contrast of the media representation that has oppressed us. The final product is a series of photographs,screenshots and a film that attempts to shift perception.
Society’s standards placed against black males need to be erased because they are extremely harmful and divisive. It contributes to the reason black males are targeted more by police, why we receive longer jail sentences than our white counterparts and the discrimination that we receive. This project seeks to understand where these negative portrayals come from, and how we can change them for a better future. Also, by reversing the portrayals of black and white males this project seeks to understand how the perception of both will change depending on how they are depicted.