It’s been a long four years, y’all. Since Election Day 2016, we’ve lived in what can only be called a surreality; one which has increasingly made many of us feel not only wildly out of control of our democracy (which already existed on a highly relative scale) but our own destinies. With hours—or days, or weeks—to go before we know whether America is willing to turn the corner into some more rational semblance of a union or plunge even further into regressive darkness, it’s natural to feel powerless, wondering if your singular drop in the bucket even matters.
But if you did step out on faith this election cycle, and did your personal best—in a pandemic, no less—to preserve the tenuous freedoms we have, you deserve more than a sticker. To commemorate participation in this landmark election and the uprising of Black voices in this pivotal year, a commemorative t-shirt tribute collaboration has arrived to say that like Black lives, Black votes matter. “Do It For Us - I Voted” is an original PSA campaign conceptualized by Unusual Suspects (USS) in partnership with The Rotation and Balance One.
“’Do It For Us’ is an ode to the youth voter,” says creator Sydney A. Foster, via a press release sent to The Glow Up. “It was created in an effort to assure them that their perspectives are seen and heard. Our campaign serves to further educate underrepresented communities on the importance of voting to increase voter engagement.” Plus, peep that red, black and green.
Per a press release provided to The Glow Up:
Created by Sydney A. Foster of Unusual Suspects (USS), with the support of shared closet rental platform The Rotation and Richmond-based creative collective Balance One, the campaign consists of a video that promotes equality in light of the injustice of Black Americans who have lost their lives due to police brutality. The limited-edition “I Voted” cotton tee (MSRP $30) benefits I Am More Than and Alabama Forward, grassroots non-profit organizations amplifying and uplifting young Black voices. The campaign also includes portraits of young creatives taken in and around New York by Foster, and a video documenting interviews of those creatives on the importance of voting shot by Brian Crawford (@shotbyboc).
Look, we get it; Black folks have a complicated history and relationship with America (to say the least)—and accordingly, its so-called democratic processes. We also only comprise 13 percent of the United States population, meaning we are perpetually outnumbered, even when empowered with the right to vote. With all that in mind, why does voting matter—this and every election cycle? Let the participants in the poignant and very honest “Do It for Us” campaign explain why they vote. And, if you can, do it for us.