Congress’s kente cloth spectacle was a mess of contradictions
Fashion has the ability to speak volumes about one’s intent. And in this case, the message was both self-conscious and artless. In their eagerness to display dazzling empathy and solidarity, they only muddied the current conversation about race.
A brief history of kente cloth would emphasize that it is the pride of Ghana, where it originated, and it is typically worn on special occasions, in part because the fabric, which is woven, is both time-consuming and expensive to make. The multicolored strips have been embraced by many African Americans as an expression of their culture, regardless of whether their roots lie in Ghana or elsewhere on the African continent.