Fashion Show Spotlights African-American Heritage


(Monday, March 5, 2007 5:42 AM EST)

The women who participated in the Langston-Brown Senior Center's Afro-centric fashion show can really strut their stuff.

In celebration of the last day of Black History Month, participants from the senior center took on the personas of famous black women, such as Oprah Winfrey and Toni Morrison, and decked themselves out in traditional African clothing.

“We have a rich and wonderful history in this room,” said event emcee and Langston-Brown employee Sherri Clarke.

“[Sharing my heritage] is very meaningful,” said Velta Pelham, who represented Madame C.J. Walker (the nation's first black female millionaire) and wore a bright red dress from Ghana.

“There's so much that we don't know about African American history right in this community,” Pelham said.

The women wore clothing styles from all over Africa, and modeled them to gospel tunes performed by local musicians.

A kente cloth scarf, a coral-colored skirt from Kenya and a light-blue dress from Sierra Leon were highlights of the show.

Langston-Brown Senior Center is located in High View Park (formerly Halls Hill), an historically African-American neighborhood in Arlington. The center hosted numerous events to celebrate Black History Month, but this was the first that showcased the seniors themselves.

“We've had events all month, but I wanted them to participate,” said senior center director Eva Cano-Mayor. “They look forward to this event each year.”


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