I love supporting small businesses that have a mission rooted in education. Today, I want to put the spotlight on Derek Bridges, a Social Science Masters student who uses his business "HomeTeam" to spread light on African history, culture and world views. Read on to learn more!
BackgroundGrowing up in a very diverse environment in the Bronx, NY greatly impacted my interest in people and culture. This interest encouraged me to pursue a degree in history to learn the context of all the culture and diversity I was exposed to on a daily basis. Along this journey I became increasingly interested in my own heritage and this desire set the foundation of all my entrepreneurial ventures. I began to teach African history to children in the DC area and became discouraged of how little they knew about their own ancestors. Multiple encounters with adults and children that knew nothing of African history filled me with an overwhelming sense of purpose. That is when I made the decision to disseminate this knowledge through creative means. Thus, HomeTeamHats was born.
Studies/ImpactThe term “HomeTeam” alludes to the African diaspora and is used to expresses our awareness of African descended people all around the world. I am currently working on my masters in Social Science at Towson University. I believe my studies allow me to advance African history, culture and worldview in a way that everyone may understand. African history plays a pivotal role in the development and self-esteem of Afro-descended people. The manipulation of African history by European scholars was used as a weapon to influence the minds of African people in the New World. When all our children are taught that our history began with slavery and ended with Martin Luther King; that deeply impacts how they view themselves and even how they learn. Today, scholars of Afro-studies seek to reclaim our history and pioneer a new age for the advancement of Afro-descended people. HomeTeam Hats mission is to impact this new era through creative means in popular culture.
Symbolism/DesignThe Snapback incorporates African history, culture and worldview all in one design. It allows us to celebrate all these elements with style. Popular culture alludes that the origin of the Ancient Egyptians is shrouded in mystery. Yet with closer study the Egyptians themselves make their origin very clear. The Egyptians, as we know them today, never called their land Egypt. The indigenous name for Egypt is Kemet and the Kemetic symbol for Egypt is “KMT” which literally translates into “Black Land”. The symbols on the hat exemplify this reality and glorifies African history, culture and worldview. It’s a very afro-centered themed hat that seeks to advance interest and knowledge concerning African people. The HomeTeam label is heavily invested in creating designs that blends African history and fashion.
(For more info)
Thanks to Derek for sending me a HomeTeam hat of my own!