why we wear it
We make no attempt to engage in cultural appropriation of the Dashiki to be fashionable or ironic; or, to promote/perpetuate a pop culture stereotype. Nor do we mean to undermine its status as a sign of Black identity or claim that we understand the black experience. To us, it is as deeply significant as a raised fist: something that was an emblem of the Civil Rights and Black Panther Movements of the 1960s and early 70s; and, today, is a universal, all-inclusive emblem that rejects white supremacy, systematic racism, and police brutality. To us, the 'Angelina print" also represents the untucked counter-culture and a rejection of some Western cultural norms that we see as negative-namely, imperialism, consumerism, and materialism. Moreover, we recognize it as a celebration of African and African-American culture; specifically, musical culture: Jazz, Blues, Gospel, Funk, Reggae… Whether we don blue for peace and love, or black for mourning, to us, the Dashiki is not a costume; it is a uniform that represents something we believe to be sacred.
With deep respect, we do not wear it lightly.
Now... the white shoes and polyester are irony.