Simply put we stopped celebrating Kwanzaa and our culture!
In the time it took me to type this title I know I have lost most of the people who read my blog every Wednesday. People are more concerned about their Christmas dinners and door buster deals then they are about reclaiming our future and getting rid of the black apathy that has nestled in like the proverbial snowball, growing and gaining speed about to crush us all like waiting deer unknowingly pandering about at the bottom of the hill!
Again I say WAKE UP PEOPLE!
In this time of an infant millennium, a new black president, a new social network, possibly a new black mayor, and new media that allows us to connect 24/7 in real time, here we are collectively not discussing issues, not supporting black businesses, getting into elected positions to support the white man’s agenda, using black organizations for personal gain. All this while we sit and “SMH” because it is too much to type out “shake my head” and even more of an imposition to do anything of significance about it. We have let the power of the internet become our new crack, dumbing us down to shorthand and “lol’s” and “:),” we have become useless and tired, overrun and some of us overburdened trying to carry the load for an entire race.
If we do not make our sankofa soon, we risk charting a path of extinction. Though people are so comfortable with the life we seem to be accepting in America, we watch and witness every other race else grow and flourish except for us. We linger and when we move one step ahead, we seem to fall 2 steps behind.
Obama, a great leap forward.
Our National Black Caucus stealing college scholarships, 4 steps behind.
Mayor-to-be Willie Hines, saving families and homes after the floods, a major step forward.
Mike McGee Jr., a young bright mind caught up by the fame and fortune, working our community and its plight. Still people defend him and few publically blast him out of fear and backlash, another tragic step back.
We are so quick to condemn tea party extremists, confederate red states, and our own racist Badger state where colored students cannot protest without being robbed and victimized. We sit quietly by and let our own people tell us how to vote, how to think, what designer clothes to wear so we can look like clowns. We do things that do not help our cause, but make us look like damn fools trying to live like the Jones’ when we should be living black and setting our own trends and standards. What the hell is up my people? Have we just blended in and forgotten we still have work to do? Is there still some fight left in us or did it stay behind in 2008?
The Power of Kwanzaa resulted in our own postage stamp.
Simply put we stopped celebrating Kwanzaa and our culture! With each passing year people equate Kwanzaa with some cheesy 70’s black exploitation type of stereotypical Negro outdated event. We spend more money on hair weaves then we do on anything black, let alone Kwanzaa. We let Glen Beck make a joke out of this great holiday and he still stays on the air and only a handful voice their opposition to his wrath.
Once upon a time in the 90s, Kwanzaa rivaled Christmas and negative white people actually feared the power and unity created by this EVENT! Our kids learned history, tradition and honor. People lined up at Reader’s Choice and other black stores to buy their Kwanzaa kits and made it a truly powerful, enriching holiday. News stations gathered around to show our pride and power, now they just run a 30-second fluff piece on December 26th.
Really, is that how it’s going down?
What Kwanzaa was, was a chance to have something that was just ours. We welcomed others but this was the annual, all black people meeting to refocus and reenergize the troops. We used it to learn about how to come together and unite, we displayed future generations, their gifts and talents and welcome them into the community and lifted them up! We also celebrated and honored our elders and their accomplishments. We used these seven days to sit and talk and prepare for the journey ahead, reaffirm, recommit, revitalize. We also used it to just be united and call attention to what was going on especially living in this community. We needed Kwanzaa and we still do.
To the creator, to our ancestors, to our youth, we owe you much and yet we give so little. This year, celebrate Kwanzaa! Take time to research this and Facebook less. Buy a Kwanzaa kit or make one of your own, they are not expensive and homemade is the preferred method anyway.
Reader’s Choice is selling kits for $60 and they include everything you need! If you want to get just candles, or books, or some part of the Kwanzaa kit, I am sure they are happy to help. They also have excellent reading material and great Kwanzaa books. Please visit this landmark in our community. It is very worth it and take a young person along, tell them to leave their cell phone and other devices of distraction at home so they can focus on this little diamond we take for granted.
Family, we need to do some serious evaluating and changing. We are not moving forward at the pace in which we should be, despite a recession we are not here for each other, we are not united as we should be and we can no longer blame the white man or government conspiracies, this one is ours to own if we don’t get it together.
Peace Family and Nguzo Saba,
Reader's Choice Bookstore, your Kwanzaa Headquarters! (414) 265-2003
1950 N Dr Martin Luther King
Milwaukee, WI 53212-3642
For those who are Christian and want to incorporate Kwanzaa with your religion, there are many sites from every denomination that help you celebrate in accordance with your faith. Here is one such link for Catholics for example:
This site focuses on choosing life and not abortion as well as the principles of Kwanzaa. It is very powerful and filled with traditional Christian and Black Catholic spirituality.
For more about Kwanzaa start here:
Kwanzaa is an African-American and Pan-African holiday that celebrates family, community and culture. It is observed from December 26 through January 1 and its origins may be found in the first harvest celebrations of Africa, from which this holiday takes its name. Kwanzaa is derived from the phrase, “matunda ya kwanza,” which means “first fruits” in Swahili, a Pan-African tongue that is the most widely spoken language of Africa. The first-fruits celebrations are recorded in African history dating back to Ancient Egypt and Nubia, with references, both ancient and modern, appearing in other classical African civilizations, such as Ashantiland and Yorubaland, and among societies as large as empires…Swaziland, for example…and smaller groups like the Matabele.
Kwanzaa was conceived and developed in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Ron Karenga, an author and scholar-activist who stresses the need to preserve, continually revitalize and promote African American culture. Dr. Karenga is a professor with the Department of Black Studies at California State University in Long Beach. Kwanzaa was first celebrated on December 26, 1966 and having been introduced in the midst of the Black Freedom Movement of the mid-60s, reflects a concern for cultural groundedness in thought and practice. Unity and self-determination are also associated qualities. Primarily created to reaffirm and restore rootedness in African culture, this celebration is an expression of recovery and reconstruction of African culture. The founding organization of Kwanzaa is the Organization Us, which is the authoritative keeper of its tradition. The second function of this holiday is to serve as a regular communal celebration to reinforce and reaffirm the bonds between the African people. A third purpose of Kwanzaa is to introduce and reinforce the “Nguzo Saba” (also known as the “Seven Principles”), representative of communitarian African values, which are: (1) Umoja or Unity; (2) Kujichagulia or Self-Determination; (3) Ujima or Collective Work and Responsibility; (4) Ujamaa or Cooperative Economics; (5) Nia or Purpose; (6) Kuumba or Creativity; and (7) Imani or Faith.
Nguzo Saba Family!