When I saw Nike’s advertisements for the Black History Month collection on Facebook a few weeks ago, I was hit by a multitude of thoughts, including:
Oh snap this is fierce, I wonder which Black people they’ve got on the marketing team.
Oh wait this is just a ploy to capitalize on Nike’s most reliable demographic – the urban black man.
I’m not even a sneaker head, but that one print is really cool.
I should get matching ones for myself and Bae! (This was quickly shot down once Bae… why do I call him that?… once Jonathan verbalized that the “Power of One” theme of the collection can be viewed as an attempt to destabilize growing black collective anger, protest, and action that has arisen in various forms in 2015… which is WAY too deep for day one of black history month)
Nike Black History Month Collection
Whether you think Nike’s Black History Month collection is a good thing or not (p.s. this isn’t the first time Nike’s thrown some “African print” sneakers at us), you’ve got to admit that it feels kinda good to have sneakers designed with us in mind (even if it’s just to take our dollars!). The thing is though, African inspired sneakers existed long before Nike decided to design a few pairs. Here are four other places where you can buy African inspired sneakers to represent your roots during Black History Month.
I came across this designer on Pinterest a long time ago, but totally forgot about them until the brand was recently featured on my cousin’s blog, Madam Koverage. Chicago bred Ghanian designer Emmanuel King is the mastermind behind this line that reupholsters the popular Nike Roshes with kente and mudcloth fabrics for $150-$200.
If you want a more customized look, Etsy seller 2Woo has a few African print slip on sneakers that appear to be either handpainted or fabric painted on. Although Dublin based shopowner Sally Rosal does not appear to be melaninated (my new favorite non-word) or woke – based on her interchangeable use of African print, Aztec, and tribal – her $50-$70 designs surely are cute.
If you’re more of a Chuck Taylor person, Mamie Ansah has the perfect customized Converses for you and your family, even the babies! You can either send in your own pair for $100 customization, or let Mamie Ansah do all the work for $150, transforming basic chucks to colorful ones with dashiki, ankara, and other fabrics.
If you want a Converse like look without the name brand, check out Ohema Ohene’s line of low top and innovative convertible high top African print sneakers that might make you forget about your old and faithful Chucks, in affordable prices between $60 and $150.