Former The Smiths frontman Morrissey has showed support for civil rights activist James Baldwin with a new t-shirt. The shirt (which will be made available for purchase on Morrissey’s upcoming US tour) features a picture of Baldwin with the lyrics ‘I wear black on the outside ’cause black is how I feel on the inside’.
Morrissey is well known for using his songwriting to express his political opinions, and this upcoming piece of merchandise has given a brand new meaning to his lyrics for the popular 1986 Smiths song ‘Unloveable’.
Throughout his career Morrissey has used a number of iconic social figures as the primary focus of both his album and merchandise artwork. The Smiths famously used pictures of Elvis Presley, Truman Capote and James Dean for their singles covers.
The most recent iconic figure to be commemorated by Morrissey – James Baldwin, was a novelist, poet, playwright and social critic whose work often focussed on the issues of racial and class distinctions in western society. Baldwin was one of the loudest voices in the civil rights movement of the 1960s. He passed away in 1987.
Although many have praised Morrissey for remembering a man who was one of important figures in American social politics, a number of fans have reacted negatively to the t-shirt design.
One twitter user stated: “the Morrissey, the less I like”, whilst another posted: “Morrissey is problematic. Nothing to see here, folks”
Here is a full list of upcoming US tour dates:
03/29 – Monterrey, MX @ Teatro Banamex
03/31 – Mexico City, MX @ Sports Palace
04/01 – Guadalajara, MX @ Roxy Festival
04/04 – Puebla, MX @ BUAP Complex
04/08 – Santa Ana, CA @ When We Were Young Festival
04/10 – Tucson, AZ @ Fox Tucson Theatre
04/12 – San Antonio, TX @ Tobin Center for the Performing Arts
04/14 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall
04/15 – Dallas, TX @ Majestic Theatre