‘Black Panther’ sets off Back to Afraka fashion craze

by Paradise Free Jah Love Supreme

“Who builds your house is in your house. Who cooks your food is in your food. Who makes your clothes is in your clothes.” – Paradise

When I last checked, the “Black Panther” movie had grossed over a billion dollars and was approaching the elite top 10 most profitable blockbusters of all time, worldwide! And as a result of its wide appeal in the Black community, Afrakan fashion is back in the mix and Black handmade clothing is flying off the shelves like at no other time since the ‘70s.

Paradise-Queen-Mother-Theresa-owner-African-Rainbow-Boutique-by-Amaranth-web-300x225, ‘Black Panther’ sets off Back to Afraka fashion craze, Culture Currents
Queen Mother Theresa, owner of the African Rainbow Boutique in North Oakland, and Paradise are surrounded by a lush garden of handcrafted clothing blooming with color and culture. – Photo: Amaranth

Fortunately, we are blessed here in the Bay Area with dozens of Afrakan clothing stores! (I spell Afraka with “Ra” in the middle sometimes to imply a Black God centered Afraka! At other times I will spell it Afreeka, with the word “free” in the middle, to remind us that Afreeka must and will be free!)

Here are a few of the Afrakan clothing stores that I recommend: The Golden Fleece that I wore to So Oakland’s “Adult Prom” and that was made in Afraka and sent by the Gods and the Ancestors came from the African Rainbow Fashion & Gift Shop in North Oakland. Say hi to Queen Mother Teresa, the proprietor, for me.

The Orisha white outfit I wore to host Tahuti’s Ball came from Lola’s African Apparel, 2703 Seventh St., Suite 110, in Berkeley.

My so often worn – like a uniform, it has become threadbare – black and gold dashiki was purchased at Sankofa African Arts & Jewelry, 2815 Telegraph Ave., in Oakland.

The Royal Purple gear that I wore on Paradise Day I got from the Pan Afrikan Marketplace, also known as the Ashby Flea Market, on MLK and Ashby Avenue in Berkeley. I bought my purple suit from a brother from Sacramento. When you buy from out of towners, always thoroughly check out what you’re buying because you can’t take it back.

Afrakan fashion is back in the mix and Black handmade clothing is flying off the shelves like at no other time since the ‘70s.

Sankofa and Lola’s African Apparel also sell their gear at this market on the weekends! As does brother Cosmo, who I bought my black and gold mudcloth shirt from.

And let us not forget The African Outlet, Bayview Hunters Point, 4942 Third St., in San Francisco, and the renaissance they have going on over there!

Arts Africans is located at 5644 Bay St., in Emeryville. Albo African Art Shop, 6421 Telegraph Ave. in Oakland. And African Detail Traders, 2242 MacArthur Blvd in Oakland. Baba Ruben’s Oya Nike shop has reopened in a bigger space at 2988 Adeline St. in Berkeley.

Now, if you really want to be a Panther, “Free ’em all!” And show ’em what Wakanda looks like!

“Be Black, think Black and buy Black and everything else will take care of itself!” – Marcus Garvey

Paradise is president of the International Black Writers & Artists Local 5 in Oakland and was honored by the City of Oakland with “Paradise Day,” on Oct. 6, 2007. Find him on Facebook at Paradise Freejah Lovesupreme.