Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Birth of Cool: Dress Culture of the African Diaspora (Materializing Culture)

Getahun Assefa | Arab 4 | Ethiopia


Focusing on counter- and sub-cultural contexts, this volume investigates the role of dress in the creation and assertion of Black identity. Tracing the home-dressmaking of Jamaican women, through to the Harlem Renaissance and contemporary street styles such as Hip Hop and Raggamuffin, the book identifies Black Britons, African Americans and Jamaicans as being at the forefront of establishing a variety of Black identities through dress.

From the zoot suit and Black dandy through to Rastafarianism and beyond, Black style has had a profound influence on the history of dress in the twentieth century. Yet despite this high profile, the dress styles worn by men and women of the African diaspora have received scant attention, even though the culture itself has been widely documented from historical, sociological and political perspectives. Focusing on counter - and sub-cultural contexts, this book investigates the role of dress in the creation and assertion of Black identity. From the home-dressmaking of Jamaican women, through to the Harlem Renaissance and contemporary streetstyles such as Hip-Hop and Raggamuffin, Black Britons, African Americans and Jamaicans have been at the forefront of establishing a variety of Black identities. In their search for a self-image that expresses their diaspora experience, members of these groups have embraced the cultural shapers of modernity and postmodernity in their dress. Drawing on materials from the United States, Britain and Jamaica, this book fills a gap in both the history of Black culture and the history of dress, which has until recently focused on high fashion in Europe. Because dress can both initiate and confirm change, it provides an especially useful tool for analyzing identity and resistance.

2 comments:

Icko said...

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you can fined the forum link at the bottom of the page.

Sri said...

Very Colorful and attractive. I much prefer the color perfection in all the art. It adds life to the painting. I like visiting Modern Art Gallery very much.