Wrapped in Pride: Ghanaian Kente and African American Identity
*This exhibition has completed its tour and is no longer in circulation. These pages are included for archival reference only.
The brightly colored, geometrically patterened fabric called kente,
made by the Asante (uh SAHN tee) peoples of Ghana and the Ewe
(AY vay) peoples of Ghana and Togo, is the best known of all African textiles.
In African American communities across the United States, kente has become much more than mere cloth: it is a symbol of pride and a powerful cultural icon.
Visitors to Wrapped in Pride: Ghanaian Kente and African American Identitywill explore kente-weaving traditions as well as extraordinary historic and contemporary examples—including some set out for hands-on examination. Photographs and video depicting the many uses of kente explain the fabric’s journey across an ocean and the symbolic transformation that occurred when kente was embraced around the world, worn by luminaries such as W.E.B. DuBois, Muhammad Ali, and Nelson Mandela. A final section examines the cloth’s prevalence during the months of Christmas, Kwanzaa, Martin Luther King Day, and African American History Month, each an occasion for African American communities to consider the power, strength, and faith represented by vibrant, symbolic kente.