You’ve seen them. Yes. In baskets at flee markets, or perhaps hanging on tiny market stalls, or just by the side of the busy road in New York City.
However, Elle Canada didn’t quite get the memo. The magazine received backlash over a story which claimed that “dashikis are the new kaftans.”
The magazine posted the story (which has since been removed) on Twitter for referring to this well-known (apparently, only in this part of the world) West African attire as “in style”.
— BRAVURA BECK (@BravuraBeck) August 20, 2015
Twitter wasn’t laughing. Angry tweeters called out the magazine for being ignorant to a style that has been “an integral part of black culture for years. Here’s what a few tweeters had to say:
— Media Diversified (@WritersofColour) August 20, 2015
This is so irritating. NOTHING about a dashiki is new. It’s been the “it-item” in African countries since forever https://t.co/4OoLuDmize
— Ugo 🌼 (@LOVEugonma) August 20, 2015
Elle Canada showed dashikis from Forever 21 in that post. Forever 21 doesn’t even call them dashikis. No cultural context. Very offensive.
— Dynamic Africa (@DynamicAfrica) August 20, 2015
Who knew a dashiki could cause such uproar? But what we do know is that unfortunately, this will not be the last time that we will have to sit down and discuss cultural appropriation with mainstream publications.
So thank you Twitterverse, for your call to action and hopefully, it will make people more aware that ignorance is a choice that can change with education.