Make sure to be on the lookout for this year’s Persons Ready in Defense of the Ebony (P.R.I.D.E.) Fashion Show. On April 17, 2020, this fundraising event will be held in the Griswold Theater on campus.
P.R.I.D.E. is a student organization on campus whose mission is to ensure that the board executives, the Persons, are Always Ready to Defend Ebony.
This organization creates a space for all students to come together and to bring awareness to the social struggles, the triumphs, and the history of Black people.
The group also includes those with intersecting identities, whose voices are often excluded.
With February being Black History Month, there has never been a better time to shed some light on the organization’s steady effort to uplift the student body and the Black community.
The Fashion Show is P.R.I.D.E.’s most prominent yearly fundraising event that happens on campus. Even though fashion is not the primary purpose of the organization, it is the yearly fundraising event that sparks the most excitement out of the student body.
This writer’s own personal experience participating in the 2018 fashion show was great. It was an experience that allowed me to come out of my comfort zone and participate, and to connect within workshops with other students.
Aohili Latu, a student stylist for the fashion show, said, “As a model, you get to meet a lot of new people. You’re working together with a team to put on a great show. And it builds more character and confidence to put yourself out there on stage. It’s great!”
Besides bringing members of the student body together, the event teaches other interpersonal skills that students can take beyond the runway. Fashion is important in society because it has the potential to bring different people together to celebrate their individuality.
The best way to enjoy fashion is to wear what you love and to be yourself.
Long practices are involved to make the show great. It is important to the organization that people and the student body come out, support, and attend this year’s fashion show.
Justin Lipscomb, a graduate student at AIC and choreographer for the fashion show, said, “People should attend the fashion show because it helps with the tradition! It’s to set up the new generation with newfound confidence, seeing their peers on stage showcasing fashion, as well as supporting one of the longest-standing organizations of AIC, and the first org of color.”
If students need any more reason to participate, he reminds us that “it is a great time to spend with friends; make memories as you watch the show. And you may potentially be included in the show for contests and prizes!’’
In spite of being surrounded by Black style (and profiting from it), the fashion industry does not shed a light on the Black community enough.
Black culture is changing more and innovating more every day, but the mask still exists, keeping Black fashion from the light it deserves.
Many people do not know that African Americans have influenced multiple styles and cultures.
Many early entertainers of all colors found their style within the Black community.
While they inspired many, the Black community is after left out of the story of the style evolution.
The mainstream will often expand upon the looks of entertainers who aren’t Black.
While white celebrities wear fashion on stage, on screen, and during public appearances that have been inspired by Black culture, Black women are often shunned for their natural hair, braids, and style in a professional environment.
Essence Perry, a junior at AIC, discussed how there has been growing freedom in the Black fashion community during the past decade. “There is more freedom to express how we want through our culture,” Perry said. “Even if that’s through hairdos like protective hairstyles and/or wearing our natural hair. We still have a problem with our culture not being respected enough through other cultures.”
P.R.I.D.E is creating a space to break all of these stereotypes. The Black student body must continue to step up.