Factory-printed cloth (Malcolm X) (detail)

Unidentified artist1967/2000

Smithsonian National Museum of African Art

Smithsonian National Museum of African Art
Washington, DC, United States

The fashion for Pan-African solidarity endures.

Sotiba, a textile manufacturer in Dakar, Senegal, made several versions—some with gold, some without—of this fancy cloth with a photographic engraving of American activist Malcolm X. It has been suggested that this version may have been intended for the foreign market because its gold sometimes turns black when worn in Senegal’s hot, humid climate. Commemorative cloth is often bought to save—as an insurance policy, a long-term savings certificate, or a souvenir—rather than to be cut up and worn.
Whether intended as a souvenir or a fashion statement, a cloth like this offers its bearer an intimate connection to the image of Malcolm X. With it, you can literally wrap yourself in the aura of this global icon for civil rights, social justice, and Black pride and liberation.


  • Title: Factory-printed cloth (Malcolm X) (detail)
  • Creator: Unidentified artist
  • Date Created: 1967/2000
  • Location Created: Senegal

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