Is It Time to Reboot, Upgrade, or Give Kwanzaa a New Operating System?
Jamie Foxx posted the following pic to Instagram wishing all a 'Happy Kwanzaa!" Most of us probably thought, "That's nice..." or "Jamie is a cool Brotha." See other Instagram comments below.
But we all know most of us don't celebrate Kwanzaa. But why? An article from the news website The Grio takes a look at the celebration of the holiday and perhaps what changes may need to take place in order for it to be universally accepted within the African American community.
EVERYBODY agrees with the concept and principals of Kwanzaa...but whose got time to celebrate something from another "country"[sic] ...another holiday in between Christmas and New Years? ... "Am I suppose to remember all those words in order" ...this feels kinda bougie." Given the fact that Swahili, a language from the Eastern part of the African continent, is the origin of the cultural words of the Kwanzaa celebration, was chosen over the Yoruba language, a Western African language, perhaps signals some inherent problems within the celebration. It is generally recognized that the majority of the ancestors of today's African Americans came from primarily Western African. As the article states: "...As a result, many blacks spend a week reciting words in a language our enslaved ancestors never spoke." The Grio writer believes it's time to make it more of an African American experience by replacing some of the African words and symbols.
Kwanzaa: Should it be remade using symbols from black history? Opinion
by Theodore R. Johnson
Fox News anchor’s recent controversial declaration that both Jesus and Santa Claus are white men serves as a reminder that even symbols of Christmas can be co-opted to exclude minorities. Kwanzaa was created to address this exclusion and provide a holiday celebration in which black Americans could take pride in their race and African ancestry. Although the numbers are not exact, it is believed that millions celebrate the holiday worldwide.
Over the course of seven days starting on December 26, Kwanzaa uses agricultural harvest symbolism and Swahili words to convey principles that are intended to serve as a connection to Africa. In this way, though it is an African-American celebration, it actually does very little to commemorate the black experience in America. Instead, it ties the pride of our race to a distant continent and not to the immeasurable strength evident in the black American journey from slavery to the presidency. This has led, truth be told, to a sizable segment of the black community largely paying lip service to the holiday.
What if Kwanzaa was re-purposed to be a true celebration of the African-American experience? What if the African words and images were replaced with the symbols, terms, and markers of black America? Would making these changes make it more appreciated and valuable to blacks, as well as the nation in general? The answer is yes.
This article continues at The Grio. [Read more]...
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