Around Fort Greene, Bed-Stuy, and Harlem, a handful of bodegas have started putting up signs banning cutomers wearing ski masks or hoodies from entering the store. This new development is concerning for a variety of reasons, not least that hoodies are an item that are both extremely common and extremely coded. They read as the outfits of young people, particularly young people of color. Brooklynites have generally treated the signs with a sense of uneasiness. But ANIMAL NY decided to take part in a little piece of guerilla activism to show just how ridiculous these signs are by stationing a “hoodie and mask check” outside of a storefront, complete with a concierge in a suit.
The reactions that the concierge got range from “Oh because Halloween” to “a hoodie, I mean, this is a free country.” One passerby thinks that the concierge might be Robin Thicke. It’s a funny video, but it’s also an effective one, and it drew attention to the signs in a way that clearly embarassed the owner of the bodega. ANIMAL reports that one bodega owner in Harlem took down the sign after they inquired about it.