Harriet Tubman and Muhammad Ali are both recognized for their notable contributions to American history, but according to the cofounders of Humanize My Hoodie, and a new Black History Month clothing line released by the project, Tubman and Ali are so much more than a textbook might show.
“[Tubman] was more than someone who created the underground railroad. And we wanted to showcase that,” says Andre Wright, co-founder of Humanize My Hoodie. “We wanted to show people, look at what she’s done. Look at how she’s paved a role for us. Not only was she a woman, a black woman at that, she was also a general of the war.”
The Humanize My Hoodie project was founded because for many Americans, in particular black Americans, the simple act of wearing a hooded sweatshirt can change how people behave around them and even put their lives at risk.
Now, the project’s cofounders are expanding their line to include four limited-run hoodies featuring artistic interpretations of black American historical figures, aimed at expressing the invaluable, complex roles each person played in the nation’s history. Tubman and Ali are the first two figures to be celebrated by the the line.
But this project is about way more than selling sweatshirts.
On this hour of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with the co-founders of the Humanize My Hoodie project. Andre Wright, Founder and CEO of the clothing brand Born Leaders United, and Jason Sole, adjunct professor at Hamline University in St. Paul and author of the memoir From Prison to PhD. The pair discuss their mission-driven clothing line and the importance of art and conversation in supporting social justice, tolerance and safety in today’s political climate.