My reason behind the “Death of Wall Street” shoot was to introduce the “Rebirth of the Gentleman” to young, black males. It is the death of the “traditional” Wall Street portrayed on television and in film in Mad Men, Wall Street & Boiler Room. These are films that we love, but unfortunately we are not in them. A Black Wall Street existed in the 1900s. Hollywood would lead you to believe that in order to look and dress the part, you have to be a white male from an upper-class family and an alumnus of an Ivy League school. This is not true.
The “Love and Hip-Hop” era needs to end.
We wanted to stress the importance of wearing tailored suits, dress shoes, and cuff links. Black culture does not have to always consist of hoodies, baggie jeans, and sneakers. The “Love and Hip-Hop” era needs to end. We, as black men, need to start representing and carrying ourselves like the princes and kings that we are following the footsteps of black pioneers that left a legacy – see Elijah McCoy (the real McCoy), Lewis Latimer, Granville Woods, Garrett Morgan, and Matthew Henson. When we begin to see ourselves in a greater capacity, the world will do the same. They won’t have a choice.
Photos by: Eddie Soto