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Community Research: The Meanings and Uses of Kente in Atlanta
(Community Research | Add Your Own Kente Memories | View Kente Memories)


Wrapped in Pride, on view at the Carlos Museum through June 16, 2002, includes a section on kente in the city of Atlanta. It illustrates the many ways in which kente is used and what it means to people here, showcasing Atlanta's own communities. We have been conducting community research since the fall of 2000 to gather material for this section, documenting the diverse uses and meanings of kente cloth in Atlanta. Students from Atlanta universities developed the project together with Dr. Corinne Kratz, Associate Professor of African Studies and Anthropology at Emory University. Dr. Kratz curated Wrapped in Pride at the Carlos together with Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole, Presidential Distinguished Professor of African American Studies, Anthropology, and Women's Studies at Emory. After the exhibition, research materials will become part of a growing archive on kente in the United States at the UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History. You can help the Museum continue its efforts to explore kente in Atlanta: where, when and how it is used, and the rich cultural meanings that kente holds for Atlanta's diverse residents.

How was the community research carried out?
The research team explored the meanings and uses of kente in Atlanta in the following ways:
  • Interviewed Atlanta residents and public figures about their understandings and experiences with kente
  • Photographed public events and venues where kente can be found (e.g. public Martin Luther King Day or Kwanzaa celebrations, shops, festivals)
  • Photographed several personal, family celebrations (Kwanzaa, weddings, etc.)
  • Worked with area schools to document uses of kente during Black History Month, graduation, and other occasions
  • Borrowed selected kente objects found in Atlanta to include in the exhibition, ranging from kente clothing, accessories, dolls, and decor to artworks with kente
  • Searched local archives for photographs that document early uses of kente in Atlanta
  • People are sharing their own experiences with kente on the Kente Memories page

Add your own Kente Memories!
You can share your own kente experiences here by posting Kente Memories -- whether it's a story about objects made with kente cloth or patterns, kente stoles worn on special occasions, kente purchased in Ghana, or any other form of handwoven or machine-printed kente. Has kente marked a significant moment in your life? given you a way to mark important social relations and occasions? raised questions or debates for you? What does kente mean to you? Tell us about it.

To post your Kente Memory, send a message to kente@learnlink.emory.edu (with which you can also attach an image, or even a video clip!). Along with your brief account, please include your name, address, and phone number.

The Kente Memories Web Site is moderated; we will review postings before they appear on the site and may edit or excerpt them for length. Postings may be included in the research archive, exhibition publications, educational materials, or public relations associated with the exhibition. The Carlos Museum may contact you about using your kente object or photograph in the Wrapped in Pride exhibition opening in February 2002.

View Kente Memories!
Please visit our Kente Memories collection to read kente experiences that have been posted by other visitors. We expect this section to continue to grow through June 16, 2002 when the exhibition closes. Please see above if you'd like to share your kente memories.

For more information about the Wrapped in Pride exhibition, visit the exhibition web site developed by the UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History. For more information about the Kente in Atlanta project, send an e-mail to kente@learnlink.emory.edu.

(Images from Wrapped In Pride: Ghanaian Kente and African American Identity, published by the UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History, 1998.)


© Emory University
For more information please contact: kente@learnlink.emory.edu.
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