The Relevance of Kwanzaa ?

The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa

What is Kwanzaa? Why do we celebrate?   And is this holiday too deeply rooted in African culture that only African Americans can or should celebrate?

Have any of these questions crossed your mind?  If so, let’s blabb about it….

Just as a point of historical reference, during the 1960’s African Americans began reaching back to tie the lost cultural roots of traditional African communities embracing self awareness and empowerment…thus founding Kwanzaa, which is the only nationally celebrated, native, non religious or political African American holiday.

The Kwanzaa holiday is observed from December 26th through January 1st and its’ focus is to pay tribute to the rich cultural roots of the People of the African Diaspora. It is strongly rooted in cultural awareness and it reinforces personal growth and achievements.  Kwanzaa is now a 45 year old celebration and tradition yet the principles are still relevant to African Americans today; particularly young African American children.

The principles are:

1. Umoja (Unity): To strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.
2. Kujichagulia (Self-Determination): To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves.
3. 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.
4. Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics): To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.
5. Nia (Purpose): To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
6. 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.
7. Imani (Faith): To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

With this celebration commencing at the last week of the year, it allows us the opportunity to reflect and re-affirm our goals, add some clarity or tweak our perspectives and/or re-define, but performing the traditional ceremony is where I struggle…Many African Americans are still “ignorant” to African tribal and cultural traditions.  It is piece of culture that is 10 times removed and not easy to plug back in… I realize that one of the very purposes of this celebration is to continuously introduce, reinforce and cultivate an appreciation for African culture through these principles, but when many African Americans speak of celebrating Kwanzaa (in the true spirit upon which is was found) it feels like lip service to a culture and traditions we really don’t fully understand and/or appreciate.

But in every effort to be the all around culturally in-tune African American family, you go out and buy all the necessary items, invite your friends and family over, recite the principles, light the candles, spread the kente clothe and exchange the gifts……

Is practicing this celebration really preserving African communitarian values?  Or are we just going through the motions at home or in public for the sake of saying we celebrated Kwanzaa and on January 2nd we forget we lit those (7) candles?

So I ask this question, giving all do respect to Dr. Maulana Karenga, is Kwanzaa too deeply rooted in African culture?  Is the way in which we celebrate and honor the principles relatable (we agree that they are relevant) 45 years later?   Should the Kwanzaa celebration be redefined to keep the principles of Kwanzaa relevant and consistent  in our daily lives after January 1st?

What do you think?  Blabb Back…


24 comments on “The Relevance of Kwanzaa ?

  1. […] The Relevance of Kwanzaa ? ( GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Origin", "other"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_bg", "ffffff"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_border", "eeeeee"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_text", "555555"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_link", "2970A6"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_url", "c8c7c7"); GA_googleAddAttr("LangId", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Tag", "african-american-culture"); GA_googleAddAttr("Tag", "african-american-lifestyle"); GA_googleAddAttr("Tag", "education-2"); GA_googleAddAttr("Tag", "mah-peoples"); GA_googleAddAttr("Tag", "spiritual-musings"); GA_googleAddAttr("Tag", "holidays"); GA_googleAddAttr("Tag", "kwanzaa"); GA_googleAddAttr("Tag", "postaweek2011"); GA_googleFillSlot("wpcom_sharethrough"); Rate this: Share the randomness:Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post. Tags: holidays, kwanzaa, postaweek2011 Comments (0) Trackbacks (0) Leave a comment Trackback […]

  2. My Homepage says:

    … [Trackback]…

    […] Informations on that Topic: […]…

  3. URL says:

    When I initially commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a remark is added I get four emails with exactly the same comment. Is there any manner you possibly can take away me from that service? Thanks! 655796

  4. […] The Relevance of Kwanzaa ? ( […]

  5. […] The Relevance of Kwanzaa ? ( […]

  6. … [Trackback]…

    […] Informations on that Topic: […]…

  7. […] The Relevance of Kwanzaa ? ( […]

  8. Take pleasure in the item good towards adequate facts. Admittedly unprejudiced wen upward! Document constantly complete definitely definitely not icreasing with those however, think about you will had some almost animatedly buddy-buddy despoile in addition to I’m unquestionable a number of individuals suavity all the fewer regardless.

  9. How long have you writing these blog posts? I’m surprised this is the first time I’ve discovered it.

  10. Website says:

    … [Trackback]…

    […] There you will find 75422 more Infos: […]…

  11. Meagan says:

    You’ve got some interesting perspective on this which I like.

  12. Greg Mogg says:

    thanks for your thoughts on this, I felt a bit struck by this article. Thanks again!

  13. Sorry, but I disagree with this information. I actually do get pleasure from your personal website however and will likely keep on coming back for update versions.

  14. It is perfect time to make some plans for the future and it’s time to be happy. I have read this post and if I could I desire to suggest you few interesting things or tips. Maybe you could write next articles referring to this article. I wish to read even more things about it!

  15. I actually wanted to compose a small note to express my thanks you for a few of the pleasant secrets you are showing on this webpage.

  16. Jimmy says:

    I really like what you are saying, and am glad I found your website. Please keep it up.

  17. … [Trackback]…

    […] Read More here: […]…

  18. Hi there! This article couldn’t be written much better! Looking through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He constantly kept preaching about this. I will send this information to him. Pretty sure he’ll have a very good read. Thanks for sharing!

  19. Greetings! Very helpful advice on this article! It is the little changes that make the biggest changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!

  20. I enjoy, result in I discovered just what I was looking for. You have ended my four day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye

Blabb Back

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s