Black Males and Sagging Pants

An increasing number of public and private discourses are taking place across the nation about sagging pants.  One wears sagging pants when his or her underwear or other undergarments are showing.  It’s understandable if one does not like to see the undergarments of another person who has sagging pants.  Although I see a person’s choice to sag his pants as being safeguarded by the First Amendment, I do understand those who support school rules and ordinances prohibiting sagging.  Personally, I don’t sag and don’t think it’s an attractive fashion phenomenon.   However, what’s not understandable is making deleterious assumptions about people just because they’ve elected to wear sagging pants.  Unfortunately, Black males who wear sagging pants are disproportionately affected by unmerited assumptions about their sagging pants.

For White supremacists, sagging pants is a tangible reminder that Black males are still niggers.  For those who hide their racial prejudice, all Black males who have sagging pants are viewed as dangerous.  Those sagging pants send them a clear message that they’re ungovernable criminals who are going to harm us if we don’t get away from them and if we don’t keep them away from us.

I need to send many White people a message that just because a group of Black males who have sagging pants are walking down the same sidewalk as you are does not mean that they’re automatically a threat to you.  In reality, Black males have more reason to be fearful of you than you of them.  If you need some evidence of this, use Google to search for Bo Morrison and you will have just one piece of numerous pieces of evidence to support why I made the aforementioned statement.

Yes, some Black males who have sagging pants are involved in criminality and are dangerous.  However, don’t place the blame on those sagging pants—place the blame squarely on the choices those individuals have made to commit themselves to a mindset of criminality.

For those White people who believe that all, most, or many Black males who have sagging pants are criminals and dangerous, do you feel the same way about White males with sagging pants?  I’m just curious.

Black parents, it’s important to offer our children an understanding of the historical provenance of sagging pants.  Wearing sagging pants emerged from prisons.  In prisons, sagging pants is symbolic and a tangible expression to have other men recognize that one is homosexual and ready to be penetrated in the anus.  While I’m in no way trying to get you to preach to your children against homosexuality, what I’m attempting to do is have you educate your children about the origin of sagging pants and the symbolic and practical meaning of those sagging pants for those situated in prison.  I want your children to be fully informed about their choice to sag their pants.

For those who would try to suggest that Black males and others who sag their pants are trying to be like prisoners, you’re engaging in fallacious thought.  What you’re really trying to do is construct some “evidence” to justify your prejudice and racism.  Therefore, just be real and say so.

Black males need to be aware that people will make unwarranted assumptions about them just because they have sagging pants.  In no way am I attempting to call for Black males to stop wearing sagging pants.  I, however, want Black males to be aware that negative assumptions will be made about them because they have decided to wear sagging pants.  Those sagging pants are contributing factors in why many White people have and are murdering Black males.

Instead of placing so much investment in what Black males are wearing and how they wear their clothing, how about devoting the same level of investment in ensuring they receive a high quality education and have a greater chance to experience success.

I argue that many people who don’t like Black males anyway are attempting to take our focus off of critical problems facing Black males.  They want to thwart any chance that Black male academic underachievement will become a national issue we earnestly work together as a country to remedy.  Let’s not allow them to bamboozle us! Let’s stay focused on real issues and problems Black males face—not sagging pants!

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison


  1. I love this post and it is well written.

    Sagging pants isn’t attractive and I agree we need to educate them on thr history of them.

    Again great post!

    1. We are not trying to take the focus off the real problems that black men face. You’re educated, so I think you should understand that sagging doesn’t help their cause. Frankly, I don’t appreciate them doing it around my family members. It looks trashy, nasty and rebellious. They know that it does and yet they still do it. It makes others, both black and white wonder about their intelligence or lack thereof. If that’s going to be how they raise their children, to offend people of both races, then why waste your time trying to justify it. The prejudices will just go on and on until someone decides that sagging is not proper in society and if they want real respect, they’ll at least meet halfway with the people who think sagging is a scar on our (both black and white) society.

      1. Niggers should abide by the Whitey’s dress code.
        It’s disrespecting the White Race as a whole.
        Wearing pants like that is also a sure sign that nigger is gay.

  2. If it isn’t one thing, it’s another when the comes to young black men. If is not the sagging pants, which I do not like, it’s our hair, or us wearing Du Rags or other fashions deemed URBAN. I wear a Du Rag to protect my natural hair. If we wear corn rows, we are labeled thugs just as much as sagging pants and that is just a traditional braiding style in the Black community. I have my natural hair braided into something like a Cinna Bun on top. It is skin bald on the sides and back. I just think it is a wall after wall when it comes to young black men or black men as a whole and our appearance through the eyes of other members of society.

    I have seen a few of my white male friends with 4-5 inches of hair get a job. Meanwhile, numerous job postings citing a strict code against any hairstyles that are traditionally associated with the black community or black men as a whole having hair at all. I think that is sad. I have heard many older men of various races tell young men to cut their hair to get a job. I am not saying that only black men go through this, but I have seen more job ads and workplaces specifically denouncing it for them to have hair or any style they could possibly put it in. I love having natural hair and it is not too long yet, but I just refuse to live by those standards. I’m only gonna live once. I’m going to be happy as long as I hold the cards.

    P.S. I really like this blog. I hope you do not mind me being here. I followed you since I saw a comment you made on Mused Mag’s website. I love them too.

    1. Thanks very much! I would love to have you as a frequent reader. You are always welcomed here and feel free to subscribe to the site for free, which will enable you to get notifications about posts the moment they are published. Your response is very much true! Thanks for reading and your response.

    2. Hair is not as much a problem as sagging. Sagging is disrespectful and hair is a different thing. When I go for job interviews, I automatically get my hair trimmed to look neat. What other people do is up to them. I guess it really depends on who wants a job bad enough. If you want to put pride in the way of feeding your family, I guess you know what your priorities are. Don’t blame the people advertizing the they are looking for someone to represent them, not themselves.\

      1. The realities of late capitalism force people to conform to its standards. When someone is applying to a job, he or she must accept that there are norms expected to be followed. One can either accept or reject those norms.

  3. It’s just STUPID…walk with your feet 3 feet apart so your pants don’t fall down…STUPID…Hold your pants up with one hand while you walk…STUPID (This is why belts were invented) Do these guys get up every morning and think to themselves “What can I do to look STUPID today?” You don’t have to be educated to see why people have a negative opinion on this. They are just showing people how really STUPID they are. Say you are poor and from a bad part of town…does this mean you don’t know how to dress.
    If you want to get ahead in life you need to first look like you are at least trying to. Otherwise keep looking STUPID I’m sure someone is just dying to hire you.

      1. I very much agree. Some accountability must be given to the people who are inside and outside of their home. Where’s the mentoring? Where’s the guidance? Where’s the instruction? More people have to become involved in these young people’s lives.

    1. I agree with you, if this sagging of the pants started in prison, why would these kids wear it like that? It all goes back to their parents and their upbringing. I have brothers who are in their teens and they would never dare to wear their pants sagging because of our parents who aren’t from here. I guess culture has a lot to do with it. America is where it started, you don’t go to other countries and see blacks sagging unless they’re trying to mimic the “So called black American culture”.

  4. Looks so ignorant. I think they do it as some sort of a statement. “Look at me. I’m bad.” When I see this, it reminds me of when I worked in corrections. (Most of the detainees were this type of black men). If they did that inside, it was because they were “advertising”. Letting all the others know that they were on the “down low”. (Homo, looking for a boyfriend. Lol.) I always associate this look with the low class. Anyone with a brain does. It’s the EBT look.

    1. It’s so important for us to teach our youth today about how destructive of a practice this is. The trouble with this practice goes beyond it being aesthetically displeasing; there are unhealthy lifestyles that are often embraced as products of this practice.

  5. Question for you: Do you believe most white people think poorly of blacks?

    The reason I ask is the tone of your writing suggests that most whites think poorly of blacks, either covertly or openly (think white supremacist fools).

    We can make the world a better place, and your suggestions about getting the whole sag thing out of the public square are likely to have a positive effect if followed. Let’s focus on what we can do together, and not assume we can read each other’s minds or hearts.

    1. I don’t think that most white people think poorly of black people, but I certainly know many white do think poorly of blacks — based on their words and actions toward black people. The vicious legacy of white supremacy is still real and functioning in our postmodern epoch. In no way do I judge people by attempting to discern what’s in their hearts and minds, but I do evaluate people based on what they say and do. I very much agree with you that it’s vital for us all to work together to make this world a better place to live, work and play. We should be in strong opposition to sagging, but our opposition must and should come from a spirit of love.

      1. I agree with Kathy. I’m a 60+ year old white woman. My foster son & all my grandchildren are black. I & the majority of my friends, white & black, are progressive activists who walk the walk as well as talking the talk. I know there are a bunch of racist, white supremacist anal orifices out there. However, there are more white people (ugh, I hate that term) who are the exact opposite of those fools. Of course, I acknowledge that part of the problem is the rest of white Americans who are complacent in their privilege.

        By the way, my 23-year-old grandson insists on sagging his pants, despite whatever his mother or I say to him. Yes, he’s unemployed.

        1. I very much appreciate your contribution to this discourse. I’m happy to see that you have a fundamental understanding of this issue, and you seem to want to be a part of the solution and not a part of the problem.

  6. Sagging Pants – Written to those who do

    I do know this is not the whole of African America. However it is as widespread an American epidemic as any other sickness, including police killing un-armed African American people and no indictment and
    evidently a justice system that fully backs these killings.

    If this seems a whole lot confusing, it is simply because I am confused. I will not weigh in on this topic ever again, it is just too sad and painful.

    All comments I have read concerning this matter are missing what many of us have and are witnessing as an addition to this harsh truth, yet ignored. Yes African American males do this far more than anyone else. I have seen several young African American women and African American men with gray/graying hair participating in this activity. My friends and I were completely !?!?!?!?!?, etc.

    It is accepted that people will try things. I bet you will not see as many males from early teen years to some with gray/graying hair participating in this activity and definitely not any other females,
    other than African American.

    For the most part, this does not put you into the category of being seen as much a criminal, as much as it does one who has made the choice to live in self imposed stupidity and ignorance. Individuals
    who deliberately ignore or disregard important information or facts. Regardless of ethnicity, this combination it to be avoided and disregarded.

    Would you believe that you are viewed as individuals with no brain? Would you believe that you confirm that everyday? Would you believe that there are plenty of individuals who do things to you, that allow
    you to either confirm or disprove the previously stated facts? Would you believe the same is always confirmed far more than not? Of course not, you do not have the mental capacity to do so. Would you believe that to be the overall perceived state of your existence by the vast majority of non – African American people, racist or not?

    Know this. There are people that fully believe about you all that is written here. These individuals happily toss more degrading choices your way to see which one you will take hold of, fully knowing that
    you will take hold of several and you do not disappoint.


    An AWB who cares.

    Below: Similar incidents are an everyday thing!?

    I witnessed five African American males, running from the police. Each had their pants hanging down to mid thigh. While they were running, if you call it that, not one of these African American men
    would or could think of pulling their pants up so they could get away!?

    While catching a local train, I saw two African American men getting on the train. Both had their pants so far down that neither of them could lift their legs up to negotiate the steps onto the train. Both
    men decided to pull themselves up on the train as if their legs were paralyzed, instead of pulling their pants up to step up on the train!?

    Just imagine the comments that followed.

    Now with several states passing laws making it known that individuals who dress in the manner can be, will be and are being fined and arrested. Most of these individuals still do not seem to want to pull
    their pants up!? Your NAACP is calling this legislation racist!? Maybe there are racist undertones to this. If there are, still, there is nothing wrong with people saying, at least pull your cloths up and
    appear like a respectable human being. Ain’t that a hoot. In this matter, from the vast majority of the articles I have read and individuals conversed with, it seems that many people care about your
    appearance, on all sides of this issue, far more than just calling it racist, even the racist!? Others demanding of you to be admirable, regardful, moderate but competent, fairly good, high – minded, high –
    principled, highly respectable determined that we will do whatever it takes to get you there is by some called being racist!?

    A comment I head. (Cleaned up to be posted)

    Why don’t they just take a big red bulb, one they can stick up their butt crack, while the bulb part hangs out through a slit in the back of their undies. A bulb that starts blinking at night. Or at least one they can attach to their undies. That’s how they are viewed anyway.

    Better yet, whenever you see photos of those guys, be sure to include a big red bulb hanging from their butt crack, through their undies. They are too stupid to see it as insulting. Most likely, a few months
    later, all of them will have a big red bulb hanging from their ass crack, through their undies and will find women that see this as attractive.

    They have no idea what they are doing is a left over from slavery sign letting their master, the masters buds, their sons know that these males are the one to shoot their juice in, if you feel so inclined.

    There are many others that you will never hear, because you are not in the skin of those who say or hear them on a daily basis.

    With all that is happening to African American people today and out of all the things in African American culture, that are great for everyone. Things that would make anyone proud, respected, greatly
    appreciated, admirable, regardful, moderate but competent, fairly good, high – minded, high – principled, highly respectable. I can easily think of at least 200, or you can just pick something off the web site listed below.

    Long gone are the days when the vast majority of Black America was a great ally and formidable foe.

    The vast majority of Black America as a great ally and formidable foe. THAT IS DESPERATELY NEEDED!!

  7. Are you joking? FBI statistics show the color of street crime in America. Fantasy articles like this are definitely hindering the Black community from cleaning up this mess. But in any case, I will definitely be avoiding pants sagging black males, and keeping firearms close by for situations when contact may randomly occur. For the record, I am a proponent racial equality and I am not saying every sagger is a dangerous person. But enough are such that, avoiding them is just common sense.

    Here is something blacks need to ponder seriously: not even liberal whites will let their ideals get in the way of self preservation. So, for example, alienating liberal whites by trying to make thugs like Travonn Martin or Michael Brown civil rights martyrs may not be the best political strategy ever. And this matters, because without liberal whites there are no 13, 14, and 15th Amendments, no 1964 Civil Rights act, etc.

    Following rabblerousers like Sharpton will drive these liberal whites in the political arms of old school crackers than will promise protection through “law and order”.

      1. “Sagging” doesn’t automatically make one dangerous, but it’s looked up on as a negative thing. The way you dress, speak and act is all part of perception. So if this was a style from prison, how should people view these kids who wear their pants hanging off /below their ass who can barely speak “English”?

  8. OK man, censor my comments.

    But, just Chris Rock, when I am out and about in the city, I am not looking over my shoulder for “unwarranted assumptions”.

  9. Are you suggesting that the majority of street crime is committed by black people?

    No. I am saying that a much greater percentage of young American black males engage in random street crimes than their white counterparts. Blacks comprise roughly 13% of the population, yet commit close to 50% of violent crimes in the United States.

    Does “sagging” automatically make one dangerous?

    From the plain text of my original comment: “. . .I am not saying every sagger is a dangerous person”. .

    However, employers are likely to assume sagging pants is pretty much an indication that the person is unemployable.

    I am calling these “children” thugs because of their behavior. Michael Brown committed a strong arm robbery on the day he was killed, and the evidence indicated he assaulted the officer and was shot in self- defense.

    Trayvon Martin, a trained fighter, initiated a brutal assault on an individual who was in a place he had a right to be and who had done nothing to provoke an attack. Acquittal by self-defense would clearly be the correct result on the facts and the law in every jurisdiction in the U.S.

    Again, and this is important for those in the black community that are still interested in fighting for social justice to grasp: white people avoiding young black males is not necessarily an indication of racial prejudice, it is simply common sense survival.

  10. Well, you have apparently censored my comments.(as really, that is what “moderation” means) and i am pretty sure I understand why.

    Nonetheless, I wish you peace and prosperity, as I believe you are misguided, yet well meaning, rather than malicious.

    1. Your previous comments were approved. Every individual who is not a regular reader is automatically placed in moderation. You cannot just let everything automatically appear on the site. I do wish you peace and prosperity as well. You certainly need more wisdom but Jesus can provide you with it if you will receive it.

  11. Very racist statement: “…white people avoiding young black males is not necessarily an indication of racial prejudice, it is simply common sense survival.”

    No, its not. The problem is that the term “racist” has now been distorted to apply to anything that ruffles a black person’s feathers.

    In a world with sane political discourse, the meaning of “racist” would be narrowly confined to refer to belief in an ideology that asserts that people have inherent superiority or inferiority predicated on racial characteristics, AND that society should use the power of the state to relegate social position based on that ideology.

    RE: Jesus: religious people never can understand that they are doing anything wrong regardless of the nature or severity of the persecution, and they ALWAYS engage in persecution.

    Case in point: Xmas as a national holiday; it is hard to think of a more clear infringement of the Establishment Clause: the name of the god is the name of the freaking holiday. How obvious is that? But Christians can never understand this.

    1. When a person characterizes every black male as being a threat, a racist ideology governs him or her. Most black people aren’t against their “feathers being ruffled”; they’re against the ignorance evinced by racist ideology and racist discourse. Racism is much more complex than the way in which you delineated it and it manifests in more subtle and overt ways than you may be willing to concede. You committed more fallacies in your assertions about “religious people”: characterizing them as a monolithic group who “ALWAYS engage in persecution.” Americans aren’t forced to celebrate Christmas anymore than they’re forced to celebrate Columbus Day.

  12. It is unfortunate that young black males with non-criminal aspirations suffer unfairly as a result of white fear and flight, but the point is that at this point in history the main driver is NOT white ignorance, but rather rampant criminality among a large proportion young black males. It is up to the black community to solve this problem, otherwise blacks will eventually cease to be a part of American civilization at all. Please re-read my earlier posts carefully.

    Re: religion: The First Amendment does not prohibit forcing people to celebrate Xmas, it prohibits passing legislation respecting an establishment of religion. Xmas as a national holiday certainly respects an establishment of religion, and this type of insidious establishment contributes to a political environment where the American people accept being the aggressor in disastrous religious wars which will eventually destroy the United States.

  13. Just like most people in the hood think all “rednecks” like to be with their sister or cousin…. Get to know a person instead of judge them. Good read.

  14. All interesting stuff, but I’m really more curious about logistics. I don’t really care about prison implications or the origins of the fashion. I wonder how the pants don’t just fall to the ground? Sagging is one thing, but I see men with their pants waist all the way to mid-thigh. There is no way that friction alone keeps the pants from sliding further. I used the scientific method to study this, though admittedly with a small sample size, and I proved conclusively that walking more than ten feet with my pants all the way below my waist WITHOUT some way of attaching them to my underwear was a.) REALLY hard on my thigh muscles and
    B.) gonna make me trip over my own pants by step 11, as by that point said pants waist would be around my ankle.

    Therefore, I just want in on the secret. Is it safety pins? Industrial glue? And if this is truly a phenomenon primarily of young black men, then how the hell did Justin Bieber get ahold of the info? He’s about as white as a bleached sheet in snow! I hafta admit I’d be scared if I saw a group of sagger walking toward me on the sidewalk IF they all looked like Justin Bieber! Who wouldn’t be scared of a bunch of suburban Canadian hoodrats rollin’ up on ‘em? The very thought is terrifying. Its up there with Vanilla Ice & the flattop, or Mick Jagger doing a James Brown dance (note to Mick: you don’t look like James Brown. You look like an epileptic emergency and I want to dial 9-1-1 and stick a tongue depreesor in your mouth every time I see you dance).

    So seriously somebody spill on this: the pants stay up with double-sided carpet tape, right?

  15. I don’t care what people make up about them, and race has nothing to do with it if you bring race into this matter that makes you a damn racist so just be real about it and admit you are a racist, I see just as many white, Mexican Asian alot of races say pants, and showing your ass and underwear is not a “right” it should be a crime.

  16. This dude antonio is defending sagging pants on men (black), and he’s black. Imagine That! Let’s face it antonio. You’re racist. First off, I don’t know of one white person that wears their pants like a worthless thug. Not one! Black men that wear their pants sagging should be beat down.

  17. Anytime I find myself in the vicinity of pants saggin’ niggas, as a simple precaution I arrange my posture so as to enable the capability of delivering shots on target at approximately one second’s notice. This way, I have less of chance of becoming yet another victim statistic.

      1. Niggers really believe their own made up bullshit. It’s truly a pity.
        But whitey does not give a shit about those 10% jigs. Word is out. We’re cutting it down to 5%

  18. Let’s be honest here!

    White people already believe that black men are all homosexuals anyway! So, ass out and on the downlow just proves what we already believe.

    Just don’t be crying about how white people laugh at you fools when you act like a circus clown!

    You wanna be thought of as men? Buy pants that fit and don’t make up jackass words like down-low. Then, maybe you’ll get some respect.

    1. John, that’s funny that you say this. Many black men think that white men are gay because white men originated homosexuality in America because white slave masters loved having sex with black men and were fascinated with the black male body. Many white men are so feminine, even the ones who are married. So, now, let’s be honest here!

  19. To the author, I hope you see this comment. Your 10 years older now, so maybe you’ve learned some wisdom and grown out of the unhelpful assumptions you demonstrate, but claim other people have.

    No person in their right mind, I mean absolutely no slightly reasonable person anywhere, ever, at all, has ever been uncomfortable with the trend, but okay if “white” people do it. Also, few people who pass for reasonable are convinced that “sagging” indicates a criminal mind.

    HOWEVER, and this is a BIG however, you are an absolute fool if you don’t see that individuals (black, white, yellow, red, purple, green, or polka dotted) who sag their pants are sending SOME kind of message. That message IS NOT a positive one. So for a couple of girls walking down the street, seeing five brothers sagging their pants, they are wis to cross over to the other side! You moron.

    Are those young men trying to communicate that they are violent? I don’t know. Maybe. Maybe not.

    But you know what they’re NOT communicating to those girls????? (YOU MORON) They’re not communicating that they are SAFE. They have chosen to nonverbally communicate SOMETHING. They’re message may be ambiguous; different men may have different motives. But one thing is absolutely clear: they want you to know that they are not compliant with some “other” expectation, and that they don’t give a rats **s how that makes you feel; figure it out yourself.

    Have I said you’re a moron? Quit preaching that people should stop engaging the psychological mechanisms that promote safety and unity, and start telling “ya’ boys” to pull up their pants, and go to work, building a better society.

  20. It disgusts me to see anyone wearing their pants below their ass, especially in public buildings. When visiting a local McDonalds, I saw that the guy cooking my burger had his pants sagging. I demanded my money back and boycotted McDonalds for allowing this in their chain. Dress codes need to be in place. You talk about how blacks are basically good decent, hard working social leaders, when I see all the neighborhoods that I grew up in which were white, are now black slums. I have seen businesses open in black hoods only to close down because they kept getting robbed. Black social skills suck. They break out in riots at their own family gatherings, ballgames and amusement parks. Don’t question whites for thinking that blacks commit more crimes and are the majority in prison, because y’all prove it each and every day. If the day ever comes when blacks can ever show respect for the country they live in and build up communities instead of turning them into drug infested slums then people will have a different attitude.

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