To Whom It May Concern:I came across an interesting peice of information the other day and wanted to share it with you.
When you walk through campus, inevitibly you will stumble upon a young man, usually a black man but not always, doing what has come to be called “sagging his pants”. This is not some arbitrary Thug fashion statement, but actually has a history… one that, if known, would probably make those young men think twice about buying suspenders.
The truth of the matter is that there are several contradicting stories circulating around about the origin of sagging. People are saying that it got its beginnings in the world of skateboarding while others contest that it began as a sign to the outside world that the ‘sagger’ was a member of a Mexican renegade force.
The general concensus and most popular belief is that it began in prison, during a time when the suicide rate within was at such a high, they could no longer issue belts to the inmates. The Criminal Law department at North Carolina Wesleyan College has this to say about the sag:
“The practice known as “sagging” where adolescent boys allow their pants to sag — exposing their underwear — originates from jail and prison policies denying inmates the use of belts (because they could be used as a weapon or means to commit suicide). It was exported to the streets on or around 1995 as a statement of African American solidarity as well as a way to offend white society.”
After all is said and done, I don’t think that the youth of America particularly care about the history or significance of the statement they are making. But I did want to put this out there just in case one person is reading and thinking to themselves, “You mean I just paid $75 for a pair of pants that I could get for free in prison?”.