Black America, please stop appropriating African clothing and tribal marks.
Zipporah Gene
239341

As a Yoruba Nigerian born and raised in Lagos, I think, like a friend of mine said, the more important thing in this situation will be “to use this moment, or trend as you called it, as a platform to educate African Americans about the garments and the markings and stop being petty [like you alluded to in your article].” I don’t see anything wrong with people adopting aspects of other people’s culture (in this case, African Americans are not necessarily other people. In many ways, they are Africans just like you. They just got “shipped out” centuries ago but I digress) as long as they give credit, don’t relabel it or claim it as theirs.

I say use this opportunity to teach them the names of the fabrics like Ankara fabric, Kente fabric, Aso Oke fabric, George fabric, etc. Let them know what they are wearing rather than watch them call it wrong names like Dashiki. That’s what I do to my friends. I correct them when I can and they tend to appreciate it. For me, I love the adopting of any aspect of my culture by anyone. I just want you to know the correct names and not claim it’s yours.

If you want to tell African Americans (your fellow brothers and sisters. I am digressing again :)) to stop wearing our fabrics, then you should tell us (Africans) to stop wearing Western wears like jeans, pin-stripe suits, etc because those are not ours either. We adopted or started wearing them on the advent of Western colonization of our lands.

As an African who has a better understanding of both sides of the coin than I did years ago, I think your article slightly comes from the place of we, Africans, feeling like if we can come to America or Western world and succeed (which is very relative), then African Americans need to shut up and stop protesting injustices or issues affecting them. Hence, in this case, you feel like you have a “legitimate” reason to supposedly expose their hypocrisy. African Americans have all the right to protest even while making sure they do their best and succeed. Many of the African leaders who fought for our African freedom from colonization were actually influenced by the protests of African Americans during the civil rights era but I am digressing again.

Overall, I always wish Africans and African Americans would unite in many ways but we (on both sides) seem to always create a reason (like this article) to separate both sides from each other even further. That is what this article does. smh

*Written in a hurry, so forgive any spelling or grammatical errors* :)