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Santana Raymond, An American Triumph Story: From Convicted Felon to Fashion Entrepreneur

Santana is Donald Trump’s worst nightmare.

From wrongfully convicted felon to budding fashion entrepreneur, Santana represents one-fifth of the “Central Park Five” now out of prison, changing his own story. The brand is called Park Madison NYC and it is an urban line. The name shows homage to the park and the headlines that would change his perspective on our Criminal Justice system.



The current President was noted for having paid for ad campaigns to have the teenagers burned at the cross, whom at the time were between the ages of 14 and 16.

The Innocent Project, an organization which works to exonerate convicted persons by the use of forensic evidence and DNA sampling, spent a lot of time and resources fighting all five of the convictions. The teenagers were convicted of the rape and beating of a woman who was jogging in the park and found beaten up hours later. The confession was coerced and the media focused on the racial makeup of the defendants, prominently African-American and Latino.

There is a lot of media coverage of the story and the reporting done during the time of the incident. The term “super predator” was coined to portray Black young males as highly aggressive and dangerous by default in their manner. It is interesting to see how a person who went through such an ordeal could turn around and be creative. It gives us hope to know that even when individuals are robbed of their childhoods, they can turn around and still chose to be motivated. In a time where we see so much division and politics around the treatment of certain races and the police, it can be encouraging to the younger demographic.

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