Arte: African Textile at California State University

Wrapped in Pride: Ghanaian Kente and African American Identity
African Identities in Textiles and Art (University Library)
Los Angeles African- American Quilters of Los Angeles: A Tradition of Pride (University Library)
September 7 – October 18, 2011

Opening Celebration with African Dance and Music, September 7, 2011, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.,
Kente Cloth Ceremony led by Peter Abilogu, Professor of Dance, El Camino College, at 6:00 p.m, University Art Gallery and University Library.

African Textiles: The Art of Cultural Identities, Dr. Kirstin Ellsworth, and Dr. Patricia Gamon, Adjunct Professors, Art and Design, CSU Dominguez Hills, September 20, 6 p.m. University Art Gallery

Film, African Weaving and African Art History, Dr. Kirstin Ellsworth, Moderator, October 4, 6 p.m., University Art Gallery

Kente Cloth in Context and the Continuity of the African Diaspora, a discussion with Dr. Munashe Furusa, Associate Dean, CAH and Associate Professor, Africana Studies and Dr. Salim Faraji, Assistant Professor, Africana Studies, CSU Dominguez Hills, October 18, 7 p.m., University Art Gallery

The brightly colored, geometrically patterned fabric called kente, made by the Asante peoples of Ghana and the Ewe 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 Identity will 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.


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