The US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and a group of Democratic lawmakers wore stoles made from Ghanaian kente cloth on Monday at the Capitol Hill, in honour of George Floyd who was killed by police last month in Minneapolis.
They knelt for eight minutes and 46 seconds – the length of time a white policeman fatally knelt on the neck of Mr Floyd – and later addressed journalists on a bill on police reforms with the kente cloth draped around their shoulders.
Mr Floyd’s death has led to global protests and calls for police reform.
Kente is a culturally important Ghanaian textile that is also used in some African-Americans contexts – including by graduands of historically black colleges and universities.
The stoles were handed out to Ms Pelosi and the lawmakers by the Congressional Black Caucus, the Washington Post reports.
The decision to wear the stoles prompted a mix of reactions on social media:
If there was every a time for Ghana to enforce their intellectual property copyright of protection over kente + adinkra textiles the time is NOW cuz……………. pic.twitter.com/FlNW3uj1Ff
— Shelby Ivey Christie (@bronze_bombSHEL) June 8, 2020
Makes Me Proud to see Ghanaian culture Shine.#Kente@SpeakerPelosi #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/otqT7VhwV7
— ???? (@ELgh_) June 9, 2020