Written by: Ti'Arrah Atkins, CWA Staff
The name dashiki comes from the word “danshiki” or "dan ciki" means “shirt” in Yoruba and Hausa, respectively, languages spoken in West Africa, specifically Nigeria. For many people, the dashiki represents a deep cultural connection with the African continent and a joint declaration of pride for our roots.
In 1967, Jason Benning coined the modern term "dashiki" and began to mass produce the dashiki-style shirt along with Milton Clarke, Howard Davis, and William Smith under their brand New Breed Clothing Ltd, based out of Harlem, NY. As a unisex garment, many men and women wear the dashiki during Black History Month, Kwanzaa, and other Afrocentric cultural events. Since the late 1960's, the dashiki shirt continues to be worn by African-Americans embracing their African heritage and promoting Black pride.
**Thank you Ms. Ti'Arrah for inviting staff and students to join you in wearing these beautiful garments, and continuing to educate our students and community on Black History/African Heritage.**