Saturday, December 27, 2014

What The Hell Is Kwanzaa?!

Ever since I was little I have heard about Kwanzaa and never celebrated it. Even when everyone was in that crazy Spike Lee induced Malcolm X phase no one I knew was trying to celebrate Kwanzaa. It wasn't until today when a guy at Best Buy wished me a happy Kwanzaa that I thought “What the hell is Kwanzaa?” The fact that it doesn't have to be spell checked means its a real thing.

Someone named Maulana Karenga created this holiday back in 1965. It was created as a way for African Americans to celebrate their own holiday and get in touch with African roots. The word Kwanzaa comes from Swahili “matunda ya kawanza” which means “first fruits of the harvest.” I guess. Meditation and the stufdy of African sultures was also a thing that was to be done and was called Nguzo Saba which are the seven principles of African heritage.

(Unity) To strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.

Kujichagulia (Self-Determination) To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves.

Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility) To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers' and sisters' problems our problems, and to solve them together.

Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics) To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.

Nia (Purpose) To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.

Kuumba (Creativity) To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.

Imani (Faith) To believe with all our hearts in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

Man, that would be cool if people actually did this stuff listed. It sounds like the kinda things that you hear Black leaders scream about when one of us is shot or when gang violence reaches ridiculous levels. So now I know some of what Kwanzaa is about. Now to wait for Kwanzaabot to bring me some goodies.  

No comments: