Ohio Teen Ditches White Teacher’s Advice Who Said African Print Is ‘Too Tacky for Prom’ and Joins #AfricanProm Trend



African inspired fashion is here to stay in 2016. After New Jersey teen Kyemah McEntyre designed her own handmade gown last year, many other young women have similarly embraced their heritage.

High school student Makalaya Zanders wore a custom-made gown featuring Ankara print to prom May 13. Her Instagram page shows DeAndré Crenshaw designed her dress. The teenager attended Garfield Heights High School’s prom with her date, Charles Jackson in Cleveland, Ohio, according to All Things Ankara.

Zanders wrote about the inspiration to wear the gown on Instagram. She wanted one similar to what Nigerian model Jessica Chibueze wore to a ball. The student challenged a white teacher who thought wearing an African-inspired gown was too “tacky for prom.” Her formal look proved the instructor wrong.


The Ohio teen’s dress – which featured a removable futuristic belt – earned praise on Twitter from her peers. But she is not the only young person who wore a culturally expressive gown to the dance this year. The Afrocentric look has taken over the 2016 prom season.

Below is a collection of other young Black women who dared to embrace their African roots for dances all over the country.

Some teens donned more formal looks like Zanders’ mermaid style gown.


Others dared to bare in cutout prints and gold head jewelry.


Crystal Harden used a headpiece and statement necklace to accent her nose ring. Her prom date sported a traditional look, too.


Ghana native Adjoa Ofori-Gyau embraced her roots with her print, accompanied by her natural hair.


Bernice Kwade rocked a close-cropped ‘do reminiscent of Nyong’o. The 17-year-old showed off her patterned gown with a bedazzled neckline as she posed with two fellow high school seniors.


And one 16-year-old ditched pairing her two-piece look with conventional high heels in favor of blue Reeboks.


Another teen made a bold statement in a vibrant red floor length dress.

??#norlandprom2k16 #Prom2k16 #africanprom

A photo posted by shaniyah (@harpersworld_) on

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