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21 more things = 42

The last post was the 21 things I KNOW at 42. At the end I said I'd consider writing 21 more things to make it 42 in total & then ...

Monday

Got Kulcha?

B.B. laughs at me allatime sayin I know erryobody in The City Formerly Known As Chocolate City who has 8 or more letters in their name. He doesn't realize how he's sideways included in that number, but it's all good. For those of us/y'all who do:

This is for my Kulcha Kids. If you don’t know what that is, it’s OK; I’ll explain. See, some of us in the U.S. were actually born for to African-American parents who put African names on our birth certificates. For those in the set who don’t have ‘em on their certificates, their parents came in shortly after having their 1st [sets of] children. There’s yet another offshoot & it consists of those who got turned out by somebody already in it & either married &/or procreated, starting a generation of their own originals.

Those of us born in are bonded through the early days of the introduction of tofu, brown rice everything, carob instead of chocolate & sesame sticks masquerading as candy. Head nod to the Big Sis right there. We are forever joined at the waist band by lappa ties & dashikis—not the Korean version you can get on the corner, but the real 1’s that everybody’s pops—known as Baba—wore, as did their sons with the accompanying head gear, the kufi. It was the predecessor to the Coogi sweater & matching hat phenomenon that we’re all thankful has disappeared everywhere but parts of NYC where they haven’t figured out Phat Farm is some bamma isht. We are hand clasped in African dance, with Funga being everyone’s 1st like Fisher Price, & growing up knowing cowrie shells before they started hanging from corn rows in the hood or made of plastic. We fell asleep head to head at Kwanzaa gatherings well before there were stamps or Kente print toothbrushes. We suffered through then learned to love Eyes On the Prize together & had no idea the words to "The Wheels On the Bus" but could recite without stumbling the speeches of Malcolm X. & for those of us who went to public school at any point, we were the only 1’s, typically, at your school with natural hair, lunches that didn’t look right to y’all & parents who were ever-present.

It was once I got to the public school realm that I noticed the way we dressed was often different. Now, my parents—well my mother—wasn’t fully committed to rockin’ African garb because she worked for Da Man & was clear that to keep food on the table she had to keep a white blouse & an A-line skirt on deck. My father had a proclivity toward jeans & K-Swiss but he could always be found wearing a dashiki or an African [message/symbol] tee. & I got real comfy in my standard American gear. I understood time & place appropriateness & would don the necessary attire when attending a wedding, a program, a ritual, etc. but on G.P. you would not catch me wearing African clothes. Why? Cuz the stuff for me looked like the stuff for my mother. All kinds of peplums (loogidup) & puffy sleeves. I wasn’t feelin’ it & got away from it as soon as I was able.

But now? Oh, now it’s all about contemporary. African fabrics have hit the runways & become quite popular. It’s the kind of wears that are undeniably fly & all the more so because the print is dope & it connects me to a part of me I love. I’ve always loved the prints, just not always what was done with them. This is exciting to me!! Now, in any aspect of my life, I can rock a hint of who I am boldly & proudly. Like this…



Or I can accentuate like this:



Or even like this:


Shout out to Sa-Roc the MC

So, check out a runway near you. If not, Google® African designers & watch what happens. Then you too can fall in love with something that’s always been with me & gitchu some too.

Watch me move.

2 comments:

  1. Shush now. I was giving myself side eyes reading this. Lord, you sound like me mid 90s when everyone and their mama of our age who had read a pamphlet of some sort started wearing fros and locks. Is it possible to roll one's eyes and give a side eye at the same time? lol. You know about Gwen Stefani's recent fashion line which is ALL African inspired? do a google search, the eyes will roll, trust me.

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  2. you know what.....?
    i can't sigh hard enough for this.
    how many african designers are there? & how much will they make compared to her "daring" line?

    get ALLAWAY the hell outta here with that!!

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