Showing posts from June, 2020

Of Kente and Two Corinthians

Congressional Democrats kneel for a moment of silence. Ah, the temptation to scold--and to jump on the scolding bandwagon. A friend posted a Washington Post piece about a "performative" symbolic act in the U.S. Capitol. For eight minutes and 46 seconds, Congressional Democratic leaders knelt in the Hall of Emancipation. All--both black and white--wore stoles made of Kente cloth, a traditional west African textile that is a powerful symbol of African cultural identity. There are many Kente patterns, each symbolizing a different virtue, value, or tradition. In the United States, Kente cloth stoles are often wore by African-American students during their graduation ceremonies. They also make frequent appearances in African-American churches. It's not unknown for a white guest preacher to wear a Kente stole at a black church service. The scolding came from a Nigerian/Ghanaian scholar at Oxford University, who was offended at the "performative" nature of the event. A