african trends

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Style of the Week: Ashley Banks in The Fresh Prince of Bel Air

( I really don’t have enough Women of Colour as style icons on my blog - that will change)

I wish I could find more photos to show how in love I was with her style! This character was all about the cropped turtlenecks and pleated & plaid skirts paired with knee highs whilst always preserving a sense of sophistication, I loved it!

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Is Hip-Hop Culture Finally Re-Embracing African Culture?

Oct. 29, 2015

This has been the first year since the 70′s in which black mainstream celebrities have been openly embracing the fashion of their African cousins, actually starting trends of cultural behavior like the rise in sales and export of authentic dashiki and Anhkara print clothing and material.

Superstars like Chris Brown, Beyonce, and Lance Gross have all been seen recently sporting the modern urban version of the West African style on red carpets, in concerts and just out and about. Celebrity endorsements like these have caused the formerly unaware population of urban hipsters to seek out and inquire about the authentic versions of these replicas and has been an amazing business booster for the tailors and textile traders of the African continent who say they welcome the new attention.

Back in the 70′s everybody wore dashikis as they were closely associated with the hippy and black power crowds of that era but once the 80′s devastation with drugs, broken communities and the increasing promotion of derogatory entertainment, the styles of Africa became less prominent in black communities. Brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Polo, Nautica and others took over our fashion scene leaving us looking in the wrong direction for style.

Now in 2015 with the largest united black movement for change since the Civil Rights Movement, we are looking directly to Africa and our ancestors for a better direction. Realizing we have our own style and fashion without being sold new identities from European brands. We are realizing that when we represent Africa in our style and appearance we carry her on our backs with pride. It is becoming evident that the African continent needs our support and when we purchase directly from her we are empowering our homeland.

Programs like the Made In Africa Project vow to work in efforts to expose authentic African businesses and craftsmen to the unlimited buying power of the Diaspora. The online export portal offers inexpensive clothing, sculptures, leather goods and even some herbal holistic remedies but nothing sells better than the Dashiki style clothing says Buss, one of the lead tailors in Senegal. The past few weeks he has been hard at work sewing up custom orders including bulk wholesale orders for a U.S. based boutique named Diaspora Africa.  The boutique owner Shalair visited Dakar Senegal earlier in 2015 to collect authentic prints and fabrics to start her own online store business.

Many others are following suite in Senegal, Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria and more. Bridging the gap between the diaspora and really hot back in the Motherland. Now we have taken the first steps in connecting and uniting our people. Its not just clothing, it’s culture!

Learn more and shop directly from African tailors and artisans at MadeInAfricaProject.com

I’m not going to lie it makes me salty af seeing African-American kids wearing African print items because it’s the fashion trend now. I remember when I was growing up and my parents used to make me wear ankara/kente clothes to graduation and special events at school when it wasn’t popular the African-American kids used to make fun of me the most and now the same kids are rocking it, ok….

Take a look at the latest obesity data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and you can see that the country’s obesity epidemic is far from over.

Even in Colorado, the state with the lowest rate, 21.3 percent of its population is obese. Arkansas tops the list with 35.9 percent.

“It is the largest epidemic of a chronic disease that we’ve ever seen in human history,” says Dr. Donald Lloyd-Jones, chair of the department of preventive medicine at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Click on the CDC’s obesity prevalence maps and you’ll see something even more startling — the disparity among different ethnic groups. It’s not new that the obesity epidemic is hitting African-Americans the hardest, followed by Hispanics, but the maps highlight this worrying trend.

For African-Americans for example, there are 33 states with an obesity rate of at least 35 percent, whereas for white Americans only 1 state reports that rate. Nine states estimate the Hispanic obesity rate at 35 percent or higher.

“It is not about one group doing something wrong,” says Lloyd-Jones, who was not involved in creating the CDC maps. “It is about the environment that we have built that sets people up to fail.”

Obesity Maps Put Racial Differences On Stark Display

Map source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Credit: Alyson Hurt/NPR