Wrapped in Pride: Ghanaian Kente and African American Identity

The brightly colored, geometrically patterened fabric called kente, made by the Asante (uh SAHN tee) peoples of Ghana and the Ewe (AY vay) peoples of Ghana and Togo, is the best known of all African textiles.

In African American communities across the United States, kente has become much more than mere cloth: it is a symbol of pride and a powerful cultural icon.

Visitors to Wrapped in Pride: Ghanaian Kente and African American Identity will explore kente-weaving traditions as well as extraordinary historic and contemporary examples—including some set out for hands-on examination. Photographs and video depicting the many uses of kente explain the fabric’s journey across an ocean and the symbolic transformation that occurred when kente was embraced around the world, worn by luminaries such as W.E.B. DuBois, Muhammad Ali, and Nelson Mandela. A final section examines the cloth’s prevalence during the months of Christmas, Kwanzaa, Martin Luther King Day, and African American History Month, each an occasion for African American communities to consider the power, strength, and faith represented by vibrant, symbolic kente.

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Wrapped in Pride toured September 2005 through June 2012.

This exhibition has completed its tour and is no longer in circulation. These pages are included for archival reference only.

  • September 1–October 5, 2005 Alabama A&M University
    Normal, AL
  • October 21–November 30, 2005 Griot Museum of Black History & Culture
    St. Louis, MO
  • December 15, 2005–January 19, 2006 African American Museum and Library
    Oakland, CA
  • February 3–March 10, 2006 Alexandria Black History Museum
    Alexandria, VA
  • March 25–June 20, 2006 State University of New York, Fredonia
    Fredonia, NY
  • September 1–October 5, 2006 Yager Museum of Art and Culture
    Oneonta, NY
  • October 21–November 30, 2006 McLean County Museum of History
    Bloomington, IL
  • December 15, 2006–January 19, 2007 Boonshoft Museum of Discovery
    Dayton, OH
  • February 3–March 10, 2007 Matagorda County Museum
    Bay City, TX
  • March 25–April 30, 2007 Tulsa Community College
    Tulsa, OK
  • May 15–June 20, 2007 Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Center
    Kansas City, MO
  • July 5–August 16, 2007 Cherokee Strip Land Rush Museum
    Arkansas City, AR
  • September 1–November 30, 2007 Museum of the Red River
    Idabel, OK
  • December 15, 2007–January 19, 2008 Slater Memorial Museum
    Norwich, CT
  • February 3–March 10, 2008 Texarkana Regional Arts and Humanities Council
    Texarkana, TX
  • March 25–April 30, 2008 National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
    Cincinnati, OH
  • May 15–June 20, 2008 Kansas African American Museum
    Wichita, KS
  • July 5–August 16, 2008 Refurbishment
    Kansas City, MO
  • September 1–November 30, 2008 Lafayette Natural History Museum
    Lafayette, LA
  • October 20–November 30, 2008 University of Richmond
    Richmond, VA
  • December 15, 2008–January 19, 2009 University of Utah
    Salt Lake City, UT
  • January 28–March 16, 2009 Cab Calloway School of the Arts
    Wilmington, DE
  • February 3–March 10, 2009 Eastern Illinois University
    Charleston, IL
  • March 25–April 30, 2009 Ypsilanti District Library
    Ypsilanti, MI
  • May 15–August 16, 2009 Pink Palace Museum
    Memphis, TN
  • September 1–October 24, 2009 Freeport Arts Center
    Freeport, IL
  • November 10, 2009–March 16, 2010 Chippewa Valley Museum
    Eau Claire, WI
  • April 6–May 25, 2010 Brigham City Museum
    Brigham City, UT
  • June 16–August 11, 2010 Mission Mill Museum
    Salem, OR
  • January 28–March 16, 2009 Bessie Smith Cultural Center
    Chattanooga, TN
  • April 6–August 11, 2011 Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History
    Bryan, TX
  • September 1–October 20, 2011 California State University, Dominguez Hills
    Carson, CA
  • January 28–March 16, 2012 Fort Wayne Museum of Art
    Fort Wayne, IN
  • April 6–June 3, 2012 Fitchburg Art Museum
    Fitchburg, MA

Exhibition Details & Specifications

  • Curated By

    Doran H. Ross, Independent Curator

  • Organized By

    The UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History, Los Angeles, CA, and The Newark Museum, Newark, NJ
  • Content

    108 artifacts (31 wall-mounted kente cloths & 12 additional artifacts); 32 photograph panels; 14 text panels; object labels; a market stall installation (with 33 cloths and 32 artifacts attached); a loom installation; and 2 hands-on kente strip interactives

  • Duration

    5- week display

  • Rental Fee

  • Support

  • Shipping:

  • Security

  • Square Feet

  • Number of Crates/Total Weight

    11 crates, 1 tube/6,000 pounds

  • Insurance

    The exhibition is fully insured by M-AAA at no additional expense to you, both while installed and during transit.