In the spirit of uppity Negroness I just want to state that a good uppity Negro celebrates Kwanzaa because it is a cultural holiday that celebrates our African Americanness. It is a uniquely African American holiday that was founded in 1966 by Malauna Karenga. Now, I thought it was interesting that a well-respected blogger who’s on my blogroll made a complete dig at Kwanzaa because of its founder who apparently has some patriarchal and misogynistic viewpoints.
I don’t think they skipped Christmas because the big white guy in a red suit is the premier focus of the season.
That being said, I’ve yet to understand the argument many self-professed Christians make for their disdain for Christmas. In fact, many of them are quick to call it evil. Please, can someone tell me what is evil about today’s first principle Umoja which is the Swahili word for unity? When someone can tell me what’s wrong with saying “With God’s help, I will strive for and maintain unity in my family, community, nation and race.”
PLEASE tell me the harm in that.
I’ve heard tell that some people think it’s evil because the kinara (candle holder) has three green candles representing the land, three red candles representing the blood of the people and one black candle in the middle representing our race–that the black candle was evil. Why? Because it’s a black candle.
People can really be dumb.
I mean, that’s not even biblical about not using black candles. I’d at least entertain a biblically based argument, but that whole black candle thing is straight out of pop culture.
The recitation of creeds and mantras are no different than the codification of the Nicene Creed that methodists read Sunday after Sunday with great zeal, or the litanies that many denominational churches read around the Christmas season and often during other liturgical moments of the calendar. In fact, some black church folk think that Kwanzaa is out to replace Christmas. Based on what evidence? I’m quite quick to say that it seems to me that most black folk are remiss to engage in Kwanzaa because it was acutally created by them. Most blacks certainly don’t have a problem indulging in the commercialization of the Christmas season despite hearing church sermons year after year after year after year after year after year about “Jesus being the reason for the season” knowing that Christmas as we know it in America stems from Eurocentric traditions.
It appears to me that the widespread rejection of Kwanzaa by many African Americans–on the basis of religion–is a result of deeper hatred of self. A good uppity Negro would at least read the material on Kwanzaa and not just add it as a “Happy Chrismahanakwanzakah” saying as a joke to someone. The reason why a good uppity Negro or hell, anyone should read this is because of the following quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
There is nothing more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. You have a moral responsibility to be intelligent.”
What are your thoughts about Kwanzaa? Yes, a wikipedia search would answer many of your questions that I was just too lazy to answer as far as Kwanzaa 101. Do you celebrate it? Have you thought about it? What are your reservations about it–moreover, why do you think you have reservations about it? What would it take for you to get over those reservations in order to celebrate Kwanzaa?
Keep it uppity and keep it truthfully radical, JLL
4 thoughts on “UNN Celebrates the First Day of Kwanzaa”
You must watch The Black Candle, narrated by Maya Angelou. It’s the first film about Kwanzaa and it’s really a celebration of the Black experience. Check it out: http://www.theblackcandle.com
I’ve never consistently celebrated Kwanzaa, but I don’t understand the attacks on it by Black folk. The arguments against it sound Samboish. By White folk, I understand – they have a fear of anything that pushes forth anything positive for Black folk.
Uppity, Good post. Kwanzaa should be held in much higher esteem by our people. It’s a recognization of our heritage, community and people. I have a brand new daughter, and I’ll make sure she is raised with a healthy respect for the 7 principals of Kwanzaa.
Regarding Dr. Karenga, there is no denying his vast contributions to the struggle. But there was some shit that went down on the UCLA campus back in late 60’s between Karenga’s Organization Us and the Panthers. Two Panthers got killed, at least one member of Organization Us is serving time for a murder he did not commit. Not sure if Karenga is trying to get the brother out or what.
Anyway, Happy Kwanzaa!
Nice blog you got here. Regarding Keranga, Imhotep, I think many of the people who supposedly have a problem with him aren’t neccesarily refering to that incident but the suspicion that he was an informant, not to mention his being accused of torturing those two women that he suspected of being agents.
But whatever he may or may not have done, the celebration of Kwanzaa should not be discarded just because of the questionable past that the creator of it may have. This is why it is so dangerous following the cult of personality because you may become so disillusioned by the leaders/creators of a certain ideology that you just throw the whole thing away even if it is in all actuality a good idea. Even the most despicable, horrible, people can come up with good ideas that can benefit you. This is why I just look at people as merely vessels to the ideology being discussed and follow the ideology instead of the people because humans are flawed and they will let you down.
Regarding Black people and are not taking Kwanzaa as seriously as we should at best and our downright hating it at worst, well I think it just shows how we view ourselves.