In today’s news story about a flaw in South Carolina’s Education Lottery-funded tuition assistance program for technical college students, Trident Technical College student Robert Jenkins makes an appearance in one of his trademark homemade outfits. In the name of staying on topic, we didn’t go into much depth in the story about why he dresses like a superhero, but here are a few words of explanation from Jenkins:

The idea is that what I want is not coming out of corporations; it’s not coming off Madison Avenue. I had to start designing my own things to get the things that I want. Plus the fact that I don’t like wearing name-brand things because they don’t contribute to the community. If you look, particularly in the African-American community, Nike shoes are like one of the big things, and they don’t do anything for us. They don’t do anything for anybody except for Portland, Oregon.

But why the superhero designs, specifically?

I learned how to read through comic books … So I can take a $10 shirt, add some paint to it, add some creativity, and create the things that I want — and maybe inspire a young kid to do the same thing.

So there you go. By the way, if you recognized Jenkins and it didn’t have to do with Occupy Charleston, it might have to do with his frequent appearances at Charleston City Council meetings.

Stay cool. Support City Paper.

City Paper has been bringing the best news, food, arts, music and event coverage to the Holy City since 1997. Support our continued efforts to highlight the best of Charleston with a one-time donation or become a member of the City Paper Club.