Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Black Consciousness Movement

South Africa, 1960. Police open fire on a group of black protesters killing 69 people. Events are set into motion that begin with a struggle between the black majority and white minority for social and political justice that is sustained for the next 30 years. Then in 1994, the African National Congress gains control and the instituted system of legal racial segregation is eliminated. Anti-apartheid Africa is born.

In times of change, there is always a catalyst that converts the necessary elements into something altogether new. Without the catalyst the reaction would never occur, ideas would grow vacant and energy would loose momentum. For South Africa to rid itself of the damaging Apartheid system, a consuming catalyst would have to emerge. Enter the Black Consciousness Movement. 

From the Power of Development
As the government tried to act against this organization or that one, people in many organizations shared the general ideas of the Black Consciousness Movement, and these ideas helped to organize action beyond any specific organizational agenda. If the leader of this group or that one was thrown into prison, nonetheless, more and more black South Africans agreed on the importance of black leadership and active resistance. Partly as a result, the difficult goal of unity in struggle became more and more realized through the late nineteen-seventies and nineteen-eighties. 

Today, the effects of the Black Consciousness Movement can be seen in literary works, social and political organizations, and festivities like Black Consciousness Week in Brazil. Each year on November 20th citizens of almost every state in the country celebrate the life of Zumbi dos Palmares, one of the last leaders of a slave resistance community in colonial Brazil in the 1600s. His life exemplifies the idea that if while using your natural talents and abilities to stand up for what you believe to be morally and spiritually true - despite the pain and fight, despite how hard it may be to see the change you want to be - people will be changed, and thus life will be changed.

We at DRC ApeParel also use our natural talents and abilities to draw awareness to social injustices around the world through clever and effective clothing design. Our first designer, Gui Oliveira, was Brazilian born and is described by the DRC ApeParel family as the “Genius”.  By incorporating unorthodox artistic graphical elements into his design, DRC ApeParel was ushered to the forefront of the urban streetwear community. Now, our lifestyle is driven by his inspiration and the phrase - Pe No Chao - which means Put Your Foot Down! Take a Stand! 

It’s Cool 2 B Conscious.

1 comment:

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