$10 an hour, with no way out

BALTIMORE — Travonn Barnett is eyeing a pair of designer jeans, the kind artfully stacked on the wooden shelves of Urban Chic, an upscale boutique in Baltimore’s ritzy Harbor East neighborhood.
Wearing the neon green windbreaker and blue cargo pants that are standard issue for his job as an officer with contractor Brantley Security, Barnett is having a hard time fathoming why anyone would drop $300 on pants — a whole week’s pay for Barnett.
“If you’re wearing a $300 pair of jeans, you crazy,” he says flatly. “I don’t care how rich you is — that’s some high-priced jeans. That’s a pair of jeans you’re gonna grow out of.”

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Photo: Brooks Kraft for Al Jazeera America

$10 an hour, with no way out

BALTIMORE — Travonn Barnett is eyeing a pair of designer jeans, the kind artfully stacked on the wooden shelves of Urban Chic, an upscale boutique in Baltimore’s ritzy Harbor East neighborhood.

Wearing the neon green windbreaker and blue cargo pants that are standard issue for his job as an officer with contractor Brantley Security, Barnett is having a hard time fathoming why anyone would drop $300 on pants — a whole week’s pay for Barnett.

“If you’re wearing a $300 pair of jeans, you crazy,” he says flatly. “I don’t care how rich you is — that’s some high-priced jeans. That’s a pair of jeans you’re gonna grow out of.”

Read more

Photo: Brooks Kraft for Al Jazeera America