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

Zipporah Gene, your article states that you have never visited America, yet your article is addressed to “Black America”. I’m puzzled as to how one can authentically provide a detailed commentary on back Americans without spending sufficient time in their habitat.

As a Nigerian, I followed the Afropunk event online with pride and joy, exuberant that our culture is being shared. Appropriation did not once cross my mind.

Nigeria’s fashion industry has massive potential, especially to financially empower disadvantaged women. If African Americans are embracing native wear, this can contribute to boosting our economy and trust me, Nigerian designers will not discriminate against non-native African customers.

I also sense that your article does not differentiate between what Nigerians refer to as “Native wear” and Ankara-type fashion. Native wear like agbada and aso oke are traditional styles based upon a set format. Ankara type fashion follows Western/European trends.

I’m trying to explain that following your logic, Nigerian fashion is also appropriating American fashion. Aspects of Nigerian fashion embrace the Western influence and generally, Nigerians have no issue with Americans embracing our culture. Ironically, Nigerian designers would love for black or white Americans to patronise their work, even if just as a passing trend. After all, the fashion industry, to an extent is constituted upon trends.

(This is my first post, so apologies if any errors)