For the past two weeks, following the gruesome killing of George Floyd by a white police man in Minneapolis, the internet has been flooded with reports of serval protests in the US and around the world against racism and civil rights violation by police officers and authorities.
The democratic party leaders were seen in pictures with Ghanaian kente scarves around their neck whilst paying homage to George Floyd at the US Capitol’s Emancipation Hall on Monday, June 08.
The programme was held for only 8 minutes, 46 seconds, the same period of time Mr. Floyd spent struggling to breath under the oppression of the police officer before his tragic demise on May 25, 2020.
More than 20 legislators who were present at the tribute organised by the democrats knelt throughout the program in remembrance of Mr. George Floyd.
Various news reports suggest that the kente cloth worn by the democrats were given to them by Congressional Black Caucus.
It was a sign of appreciating their roots as Africans, show respect to the African fraternity and advocate for massive equality for black people.
African-Americans often wear the African kente cloth during ceremonial functions including the commemoration of slave trade in 2019 and Trump’s 2018 State of the Union address.
The Kente fabric is Africa’s most complex making cloth with varieties of meanings pertaining to the African culture and tradition.
It originated from the natives of the Ashanti and the Volta regions of Ghana. Decades ago, the kente cloth was associated with only the royal people because it was only worn by the kings and queens on several occasions to suit the purpose of the occasion.
However, as the world evolves with culture dynamism and assimilation, the African culture has been accepted internationally.
The kente cloth in recent years is worn by people across the globe for ceremonies like weddings, christenings, graduation, parties, funerals and many more social functions.
Political leaders in Ghana, Africa and the world are often seen in the kente fabric to portray the pride of the African heritage.
In the Akan dialect “kente” means basket and a traditional Ghanaian basket is also weaved in a particular parttern. The kente cloth is also referred to as, “nwentoma” which means, woven cloth.
The cloth is hand-woven with treads of silk, cotton or rayon in different colours intertwined on a thin straight loom by the kente weavers.
Every colour and pattern of the woven kente cloth has a peculiar meaning and conveys certain messages to the society.