Wednesday, December 24, 2008

What Happened to Kwanzaa?

First, Kwanzaa is not a holiday. It is a cultural celebration. I have celebrated Kwanzaa for over 25 years. My family will be celebrating it this year with each of us hosting in our homes a different principle. Kwanzaa was not designed to be a commercial "holiday" because it is not a holiday. It was developed to learn about and celebrate our culture and to use seven principles to guide our lives and strengthen our communities. It is not a separatist celebration just an African centered one.

Most of my friends across the country celebrate Kwanzaa in their homes with the exception of attending large public events on the first and sixth nights (Umoja, unity and Kuumba, creativity). Some cities have large public celebrations each night. Most practitioners have small gatherings at our homes.

Kwanzaa is not a replacement for Christmas. It is not a "black Christmas". It is a ritual developed as a mechanism to learn and to teach about the culture of African Americans.

So, if Hallmark is not making much money from it I am not distressed being a commercial endeavor is not the purpose nor desire of the celebration. Gifts are for children and they are either handmade or books.

To the key to Kwanzaa is its second principle-Kujichagulia, self determination we determine what our cultural celebration will be not Hallmark or American Greetings.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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