In order to understand what Afrocentric Clothing is about it is necessary to understand some facts about Afrocentrism and to understand the Afrocentric movement. Afrocentrism is a term created by African-American scholar, historian, and philosopher Molefi Asante in the 1980s.
The term was popularized by several books including The Black Athena: Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization, by Martin Bernal. Afrocentrism is probably best defined by professor, author, and activist Maulana Karenga as “It is a quality of thought that is rooted in the cultural image and human interest of African people.”
Afrocentrists regard all blacks, no matter where they live, to be Africans and believe their views should reflect traditional African values. It is a political, cultural, and ideological movement that strives to preserve African identity, alter any beliefs that regard Africans as inferior, and raise the self-respect of Africans through-out the world. The Afrocentric movement calls for the recentering of African minds to traditional values. Afrocentrists strongly believe the self-determination of blacks has been extremely hampered by European colonialism.
The Afrocentric movement is not just about peoples views but it is also a call to action. It is meant to be a motivational force for addressing the social issues that hampers the African people from reaching their full potential. The movement can be seen in community efforts, political action, and economic advancement.
Afrocentric Clothes Significance in AfrocentrismPeople often wear Afrocentric clothing as a way of expressing pride in their African heritage. While this African garb is clearly non-western it is becoming increasingly popular in fashion circles. Wearing this type of clothing is a stylish way to express your beliefs.
Reasons for Wearing Afrocentric ClothesAs mentioned above wearing Afrocentric clothes can be a way of expressing your support for Afrocentrism. Below we have listed additional reasons for wearing this type of African garb.
- Comfort - This type of clothing is usually made of all natural materials. Most clothing on the market today is laced with chemicals, such as pesticides, that can irritate skin and be very uncomfortable. Clothes made from natural products are much more comfortable to wear. Adding to the comfort, of this type of clothing, is the fact that it is designed to be loose fitting and does not restrain the body from its ability to move freely.
- Fashionable - Afrocentric Clothing is very fashionable. Many of the top clothing designers are creating fashions in this style.
- Color - This type of garb can be found in a wide range of colors and styles giving the wearer many choices.