From the New York Times:
Sartorial Stands at the State of the UnionAnd with that, welcome to Black History Month.
By TARIRO MZEZEWA JAN. 31, 2018
… But for my money the most powerful — and certainly most vibrant — protest was staged by members of the Congressional Black Caucus, who managed to repudiate the president’s despicable comments about Africa without uttering a word.
Kente cloth is native to Ghana but is worn by black people around the globe. The patterns in striking greens, purples and oranges often represent equality, power and love.
“Wearing kente cloth to the #SOTU with my fellow @OfficialCBC Members to stand in solidarity with people from you-know-what countries,” Representative Bobby Scott of Virginia tweeted, with a photo of himself in a kente tie.
As the camera panned the audience of dark suits, the kente cloth, worn by some representatives as ties and by others as shawls or scarves, was impossible to miss. And when the president boasted about the record lows of Latino and African-American unemployment, a trend that began under President Barack Obama, and said, “We stand for the national anthem” (read: The black athletes who don’t stand for the anthem aren’t true Americans), members of the black caucus stared out stone-faced. Others simply looked at their phones, uninterested and unengaged.
Many of these same representatives, along with other Democrats, also wore pins in honor of Recy Taylor, a black woman who was kidnapped and raped by six white men in 1944. Ms. Taylor’s attackers were never charged, and she died in December having never received justice. Ms. Taylor’s name, made famous by Oprah Winfrey’s mention of her at the Golden Globes, reminds many of the specific vulnerability of black women when it comes to sexual assault. The red pins, with “Recy” in white lettering, drove that message home on the eve of Black History Month.