Black Lives Matter's Powerful PSA Shows How Life Can Hinge on Wearing a Hoodie

Actress and Activist Kat Graham Collaborated With JWT Atlanta on Film

Published On
Aug 24, 2017

Editor's Pick

A powerful PSA created for Black Lives Matter that shows how the life of a young black man hinged on one "mistake" -- that of innocently wearing a hoodie.

The film was created by JWT Atlanta in collaboration with actress and activist Kat Graham, who produced it, and director Darren Genet. With the tagline, "Wearing a hoodie shouldn't be probable cause," the video takes us through the aftermath of a black teenager being shot and killed by the police and shows his grief-stricken parents speaking about the "wrong choice" he made that led to this. Exactly what this wrong choice was remains ambiguous throughout, but it's revealed at the end that this "choice" was simply to wear a hoodie, which made him a target for police.

This idea came to fruition when JWT Atlanta's chief creative officer Vann Graves was about to become a father -- the same year Michael Brown, Eric Garner and Ezell Ford were killed by police officers. A chance meeting between Graves and Graham on a plane cemented the idea; the pair then worked together with Genet to produce a narrative spot capturing real people (such as legendary civil rights activist Reverend Warnock), to portray the devastating impact that can result when seemingly innocent choices collide with impulsive, racially-charged reactionary violence.