Submitted by Marcus Robinson, Photography by Marcus Robinson
Back in the day, as a young kid coming of age, my generation wasn’t into the tattoo thing like today’s black youth. The black youth of today have their own culture, just as we had back in the day. They tend to have their own way of thinking and view of the world.
Most black youth, at least in Chicago, both girls and boys have some type of tattoo on them. Getting a tattoo has been the American way for a long time. It has been recorded tattoos go back as far as 2000 B. C. (Before Christ). You can research some of the history of tattoos found at http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/tattoos-144038580/?no-ist
When I was coming up it was very popular amongst white kids to get tattooed and it just seemed to be the thing to do.
Now this generation of black youth who are donning their bodies with them is looked upon as being some type of gang statement.
This assumption of gang affiliation is just that, an assumption. Many of the black youth are just tatting up because it’s a current fad or fashion statement. What bothers me is that every time our black American youth come up with a style, not understood or different, most Americans find something wrong with it.
Black youth are very creative when it comes to fashion and music as well as science. So when you see them on the streets with their pants sagging don’t preach but teach. Show them how bad it may look and then teach them how to look. I didn’t learn to tie a tie until I was grown and got enough courage in me to ask the man next door and across the street from me to show me.
There’s nothing wrong with teens getting tatted up it’s an American culture.