'F**k Your Racist Grandma': Olatiwa Karade Is Breaking The Internet with Her Sweatshirts
"Pro Black. Anti-Bullsh*t"
Olatiwa Karade is boldly confronting racism with her politically charged new clothing line. With phrases like "F*ck Your Racist Grandma," and “Africa is not a country,” Karade wears her activism with pride. The founder of Splendid Rain Co., Karade and her designs are generating quite the Internet buzz.
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The New Jersey-based designer was inspired to make her statement line after the 2016 election. Devastated by the election of President Trump, she decided to put her anger to action.
“I was heavily supporting Bernie Sanders, and I think a lot of people weren’t talking about the other side of racism and hate we were seeing, a lot of which was coming from a lot of liberal people on the Bernie side,” she told HuffPost. “Whenever he would come out and talk about Sandra Bland, or talk about anyone who was a victim of police brutality, of racism, of prejudice, his following would really go on their ‘all lives matter’ tirade. I just felt extremely excluded and felt like I didn’t have a voice when it came to race relations.”
That political frustration, and anger over having to face prejudice from the family of her former partner, led Karade to seek an outlet for her feelings. And like Barbara Kruger before her, she found it through her art.
Having both designed her prom dress and creative Afropunk looks, Karade merged her passion and design experience with her political rage to create the epic sweatshirts for which she has become known.
She modeled her first “Columbus Was A Murderer” sweatshirt on Columbus Day and wore it around her school. "People were like, ‘We love this so much, when will you make them?’” she said.
From there, she continued to use her experiences and feelings to generate slogan, after slogan, after kick ass slogan!
“I love my slogans; they’re very important to me and are honestly my thoughts,” she said. “They are in my head. This is what I think when people talk to me and I’m like, ‘What are you saying?’”
Behind each slogan is an underlying message of empowerment. “I had to realize that it’s human to be upset about something that was upsetting, and I had a right to feel anger,” she said. “If I’m stopping myself because I’m angry, I need to figure out how to make that into something else and recreate it into something productive that helps me cope with my anger as opposed to just sitting in it.”
Amen, sis. Amen.