Kwanzaa

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RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture
Kwanzaa

 

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

I apologize for posting right wing links here but feel this stuff needs to be exposed. Quoting progressive newspapers is great but when the Toronto Sun prints these opinions, it's where the battle lies. The majority of uniformed voters I know rely on the Sun for their news reading.

[url=http://www.torontosun.com/Comment/2007/12/21/4735305-sun.html]Tripe[/url]

quote:

There's also Kwanzaa. At the risk of sounding insensitive, Kwanzaa -- which is ostensibly packaged as a Swahili harvest festival -- has all the reverence of Seinfeld's Festivus.

That didn't stop Bill Clinton in a White House speech from stating: "The symbols and ceremony of Kwanzaa evoke the rich history and heritage of Africa. It is a vibrant celebration of African culture."

Er, not quite.

As David Southwell notes in his 2005 book Secrets and Lies: Exposing the World of Cover-Ups and Deception:

"First created in 1966, (Kwanzaa) is now celebrated by more than 12% of African-Americans, who may be surprised to learn that the principles ... derive from Marxism, not African culture; that no African people celebrate a harvest festival in December and that some of its symbols such as muhindi (ears of corn), are not even native to Africa."

Kwanzaa was actually "invented" by convicted felon Ron Karenga, a radical advocate of black separatism when he was a member of The United Slaves Organization.

Notably, Karenga had a nasty penchant for torturing women and was described by a prison psychiatrist as "both paranoid and schizophrenic with hallucinations." But I digress.


I'm ignorant of Kwanzaa but this sounds fairly racist.

ETA: I thought it was actually gonna be a good op-ed because it started off well. I too think we should enjoy Christmas. Not for any real reason, it's just a time to wind down the year.

But then the writer had to do that and I almost gagged.

[ 21 December 2007: Message edited by: RevolutionPlease ]

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

Wow. That's seriously offensive...

...even for the ignoramuses at the Sun.

Makwa Makwa's picture

Yes, profoundly and deeply racist. Just about every year, the Sun trots out some neo-con to repeat the same old complaint, almost verbatim - I recall Marsden and Coren doing the Kwanzaa whine it in the past, and Malkin chimes in with a score of others in the misguided States. No surprise here.

Nobody except this writer believes that anyone thinks that Kwanzaa is directly related to traditional African practices, and Dr. Maulana Karenga's legal conflicts are a matter of public record. This article is merely a smear on African American people who choose to celebrate a holiday that directly confronts the systemic racist reality of their lives, and challenges the hegemony of the west. The 'official' [url=http://www.officialkwanzaawebsite.org/index.shtml]Kwanzaa[/url] site explains the principles and practices around this African American celebration.

jester

Christmas is a much more traditional celebration because the Christians stole the yule log and Christmas tree from the pagans eons ago.

Santa Claus was invented by Coca-Cola over 120 years ago so it is also culturally accepted as a Christmas tradition.

Kwanzaans should be ever vigilant. As their celebrations become more popular, they will be subject to cultural robbery by the Crusaders of Christmas just like we pagans were.

Proaxiom

quote:


Originally posted by jester:
[b]Santa Claus was invented by Coca-Cola over 120 years ago so it is also culturally accepted as a Christmas tradition.[/b]

I'm not sure if you are serious in posting this, or if it's tongue-in-cheeck and you know that's a myth. For one, the Coca Cola Company is not 120 years old. They first used Santa in an advertising campaign in the 1920s, but there was nothing original about it. [i]Twas the night before Christmas[/i] was written in 1823, though in that poem he and the reindeer were very small and he was still St Nicholas. The name 'Santa Claus' is the Americanization of the Dutch [i]Sinterklaas[/i]. Some people think Coke designed the image of Santa (red fur-lined coat, etc), but you can find 19th century images of Santa in that garb.

Santa evolved over time from an amalgamation of mainly Germanic myths. So he too has pagan origins.

quote:

[b]Kwanzaans should be ever vigilant. As their celebrations become more popular, they will be subject to cultural robbery by the Crusaders of Christmas just like we pagans were.[/b]

Why is cultural robbery a bad thing? Some of the best things come when elements of different cultures fuse together.

Makwa Makwa's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Proaxiom:
[b]Why is cultural robbery a bad thing?[/b]

I am offended by 'new age' sweat lodge fakes, as it is not only sacriligious, but echoes the ongoing colonizing theft of land, resources and people. However, in the spirit of the season, may those who celebrate the birth of the Christ enjoy their worship and repast, and may all others enjoy all celebrations that coincide with the solstice. Peace.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

I'd be more inclined to call only the more extreme examples "cultural robbery" and use a different term to describe the appropriation of pagan or First Nation cultural and spiritual practices.

Following the criminal invasion of Iraq by the United States, the doors of the Iraqi National Museum were left wide open for thieves to loot the irreplaceable treasures from this cradle of human civilization at the conjunction of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. This is a permanent disgrace of the United States of epic proportions. This was a [i]cultural [b]robbery[/b][/i] and an example of the Shock Doctrine put into practice prior to the orgy of deregulation and privatizations that followed.

[ 24 December 2007: Message edited by: N.Beltov ]

Ibelongtonoone

The look of the modern Santa Claus came from Coke, not the story of St. Nick which has been around alot longer.

also

"Officials at the National Museum of Iraq have blamed shoddy reporting amid the "fog of war" for creating the impression that the majority of the institution's 170,000 items were looted in the aftermath of the fall of Baghdad."

[url=http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=%2Fnews%2F2003%2F05%2F22%... exaggerated[/url]

of course that doesn't mean that what happened to the museum isn't still a disgrace.

Lastly while what the writer wrote in the SUN about Kawnzaa is mean and insensitve. Are the facts wrong? I've always understood that most black people think it's a joke? No?

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Exaggerated?

quote:

What happened to Baghdad’s Museum of Archaeology is a paradigm of the whole disaster that the US-led invasion of 2003 brought down on the heads of the Iraqi people. As triumphant American soldiers pulled down the massive statue of Saddam Hussein in the center of Baghdad, among the looters who ranged far and wide over the city was a gang who headed for the Archaeological Museum and its priceless collection of Mesopotamian artifacts. It is now clear that the people, who looted more than 15,000 items from the museum, including its entire collection of invaluable cylindrical seals, knew precisely what they were doing. They targeted Iraq’s archaeological heritage because they could expect to earn millions of dollars from private collectors around the world. The Americans knew what they were doing as well. The single official facility around which they threw a security cordon immediately after they entered the city was the Iraqi Oil Ministry. They therefore made their priorities clear from the very start. Washington wanted to guard the precious oil field data and perhaps also compromising evidence of covert US help for Saddam even as the US led the long and destructive campaign of economic sanctions. They had come for the oil and it was the oil they were going to protect.

Then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s condescending “stuff happens” remarks in 2003 serves as a good summary of the White House’s indifference to the wholesale looting of Iraq’s most priceless treasures. “Freedom’s untidy,” he sniffed. “And free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes.”


[url=http://www.arabnews.com/?page=7&section=0&article=104843&d=21&m=12&y=200... of Heritage, 21 December 2007[/url]

Ibelongtonoone

Did you read the link Moron Spector - the quote was from the Iraqi Museum Officials.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Yes, I read the link.

I also read the link within the link that pointed to the following:

quote:

Nabhal Amin, the deputy director, struggled to hold back the tears. "They have looted or destroyed 170,000 items of antiquity dating back thousands of years," she said. "They were worth billions of dollars."

Now, what was your point again?

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

quote:


[b]The look of the modern Santa Claus came from Coke, not the story of St. Nick which has been around a lot longer.[/b]

Not totally correct. While Coke did slick up the Jolly Old Consumerism Peddler, the image of him they used derives from the drawings of 19th century political cartoonist Thomas Nast.

The real St. Nicholas was a just a bishop in Anatolia(part of present-day Turkey)who really, really, really liked little kids. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

[img]rolleyes.gif" border="0[/img] [img]eek.gif" border="0[/img]

CMOT Dibbler

Santa is Odin.

AfroHealer

Just for the record, Kwanza is made up.

Although the ideals and sentiments were genuine, in the creation of Kwanza, they are racist and white supremacist in its origin.

The African American who invented Kwanza, did not bother asking Africans what our traditions are at this time of the year.

Kwanza is not practice in Kenya, In fact no Kenyan that i know of every heard of Kwanza until they moved to north-America.

Only those who have been brainwashed by white supremacy, would not bother to consult with Africans about our traditions.

I remember about 14yrs ago, when a close Afro-Canadian friend of mine asked me about how we practice Kwanza in Nigeria, and then proceeded to tell us that we weres not a true African because we had lost my roots and connections with kwanza.

My brother and I almost died from laughter, we then proceeded to educate our lost brother, about the white supremacist ideals that would cause someone to think that we had no culture or traditions of our own, and would all adopt something becuase it was invented (more like misappropriated )by an Afro-American.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Guess what? Christmas is made up, too.

Proaxiom

quote:


Originally posted by M. Spector:
[b]Guess what? Christmas is made up, too.[/b]

Well said.

I'm partial to Festivus, myself, which was denigrated along with Kwanzaa in the original post. I can't find people who want to celebrate it with me, though.

Such absurdity: "My tradition is better than your tradition because mine is [older | more popular | newer | less consumerist | more consumerist | made up by someone smarter | lower in saturated fat]!"

jrose

quote:


Did you read the link Moron Spector - the quote was from the Iraqi Museum Officials.

I might be a little late on this one, but personal attacks and name-calling, especially of this calibre, are not accepted on babble. Read the policy statement or email me personally for more.

Makwa Makwa's picture

quote:


Originally posted by AfroHealer:
[b]Just for the record, Kwanza is made up.

Although the ideals and sentiments were genuine, in the creation of Kwanza, they are racist and white supremacist in its origin.[/b]


Very interesting point, especially considering the possible role of the FBI and COINTELPRO in supporting R Karenga's group as a militant opposition to the Black Panther Party. Much like their support of the Goons on the Lakota Reserve during the conflicts which led to Peltier's unjust conviction.

AfroHealer

Thanks Maakwa for keepign things on track.

To the others who can't seem to respect this space. Please note this is the Anti-racism forum, and not teh appropriate place to discuss your isseus with eh war in Iraq .

Its hard enough discussing racism and the related issues, with ought having to deal with this disrespectful derailing of yet another thread.

Makwa, thanks for making the connection with the FBI and other whitesupremacist govt organizations, that continue to do all they can in their attempts to divide and conquer us.

May the truth set us Free.

jrose

quote:


To the others who can't seem to respect this space. Please note this is the Anti-racism forum, and not teh appropriate place to discuss your isseus with eh war in Iraq .

Well-put. Thank you.

Ibelongtonoone

sorry for out of place comments

bliter

AfroHealer,

To certain degrees all forums become subject to drift.

quote:

To the others who can't seem to respect this space. Please note this is the Anti-racism forum, and not the appropriate place to discuss your issues with eh war in Iraq .

I'm sure there is considerable racism at play in Iraq conflict - though, for some reason, we speak little of it.

Against that illegal war and occupation, I just can't see the sweat lodge concerns. Are the Scandinavians to beat up on us - verbally that is - because of our adoption of the sauna? Surely, seeing something good and useful in one's culture flatters the originators.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

quote:


Originally posted by bliter:
[b]AfroHealer,

To certain degrees all forums become subject to drift.

I'm sure there is considerable racism at play in Iraq conflict - though, for some reason, we speak little of it.

Against that illegal war and occupation, I just can't see the sweat lodge concerns. Are the Scandinavians to beat up on us - verbally that is - because of our adoption of the sauna? Surely, seeing something good and useful in one's culture flatters the originators.[/b]


sorry

[ 30 December 2007: Message edited by: RevolutionPlease ]

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

quote:


Originally posted by RevolutionPlease:
[b]

[/b]


[ 30 December 2007: Message edited by: RevolutionPlease ]

AfroHealer

quote:


Originally posted by bliter:
[b]AfroHealer,

To certain degrees all forums become subject to drift.

I'm sure there is considerable racism at play in Iraq conflict - though, for some reason, we speak little of it.
[/b]


You dont't get it .. We have topics for a reason. If you want to discuss the Racial elements of the war in Iraq, you are free to start that Topic/thread.

But it is disrespectfully, to start that Iraq discussion in a discussion of Kwanzza. Except if you have some knowledge about a connection between Kwanza and Iraq. (in which case, i stand corrected, but respectfully ask for you to make that connection clear, so we can follow you)

The fact that others do not respect the rules of this forum, should not give you or anyone else license to contribute to the disruption.

So please lets be more respectful, not just here, but in all the forums in babble.

Maysie Maysie's picture

Thanks, AfroHealer. I agree.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

Kwanzaa might well be 'made up', and its origins dubious. But it has been adopted and accepted by a large part of the black community, and indeed, the larger society - which makes the ongoing attacks by the 'Sun' crowd racist hatemongering, despite the fact that they contain a kernel of truth.

AfroHealer

I respectfully suggest that we don't blindly support ignorant traditions built upon white supremacy , just cuz the masses are all for it.

The masses once supported slavery, the masses once and sadly some still support the concept of women being inferior.

The duty of the progressives are to lead, not to follow people down the path of least resistance.

Proaxiom

quote:


Originally posted by AfroHealer:
[b]I respectfully suggest that we don't blindly support ignorant traditions built upon white supremacy , just cuz the masses are all for it.[/b]

I know very little about Kwanzaa or its origin. I'm interested in this, though:

What about Kwanzaa is ignorant?

How is it 'built on white supremacy'?

Does Kwanzaa in its traditions or symbols actually promote white supremacy in any way, or is a supremacist element only part of historical trivia?

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I read parts of the Kwanzaa site and see that they acknowledge its creator thus that it is a social construct. Is there evidence that this is a black american tradition built upon white supremacy? Makawa's comments about the Lakota and Wounded Knee (Lakota Woman was a great movie caught it the other night on APTN) point to one type of evidence that the tradition was built upon white supremacy. Is there any evidence of this theory/

While all black american history traces it origins to slavery and white supremacy I hope that still leaves the possibility of building community that is not based on white supremacy, if not then what is anti-racism about. I'd like to know what it is about this tradition that makes it part of the problem and not part of the solution. Any ideas BCG??

AfroHealer

quote:


Originally posted by kropotkin1951:
[b]
While all black american history traces it origins to slavery and white supremacy I hope that still leaves the possibility of building community that is not based on white supremacy, if not then what is anti-racism about. I'd like to know what it is about this tradition that makes it part of the problem and not part of the solution. Any ideas BCG??[/b]

The problem is when a people choose to define themselves , as if they had no history or culture before they were kidnapped. That is a sign of whitesupremacy.
Whitesupremacy, would cause some well meaning, but misguided peopel to think that Africa and African have nothign to offer them. Which would explain why they did not bother to respectfull ask Africans about traditions, but instead created traditions.

To make the connections to Makwa's comments, if a Native/aboriginal adult, who was kidnapped during thfrom the residential schools, decides that they want to reconnect with thier culture, but refuses to actually seek any leadershipo form the Elders or any other native groups that are following the path of the ancestors, then they have lost thier dammed minds.

You can not say your are following African traditions, and honoring your African heritage, if u choose to ignore African traditions.

White supremacy and a belief that you are superior to the Africans who were not kidnapped, by virtue of how long you have lived with White-people, can really mess with peoples minds.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

quote:


Originally posted by AfroHealer:
[b]

The problem is when a people choose to define themselves , as if they had no history or culture before they were kidnapped. That is a sign of whitesupremacy.
Whitesupremacy, would cause some well meaning, but misguided peopel to think that Africa and African have nothign to offer them. Which would explain why they did not bother to respectfull ask Africans about traditions, but instead created traditions.

To make the connections to Makwa's comments, if a Native/aboriginal adult, who was kidnapped during thfrom the residential schools, decides that they want to reconnect with thier culture, but refuses to actually seek any leadershipo form the Elders or any other native groups that are following the path of the ancestors, then they have lost thier dammed minds.

You can not say your are following African traditions, and honoring your African heritage, if u choose to ignore African traditions.

White supremacy and a belief that you are superior to the Africans who were not kidnapped, by virtue of how long you have lived with White-people, can really mess with peoples minds.[/b]


But Africa is a big place of many cultures - and black North America isn't directly a part of any one of them.

The best you could hope for is a somewhat-representative amalgam of the best of them. And oddly (given its origins), I think that's what Kwanzaa has become.

Maysie Maysie's picture

kropotkin, I think AfroHealer has answered your question pretty well.

AfroHealer, thanks for your words and your patience in this thread.

I don't know a lot about Kwanzaa, which is why I haven't yet posted here. I've learned quite a bit from reading AH's posts in this thread. I've also read postings [url=http://www.racialicious.com/2007/12/31/what-does-kwanzaa-mean-to-us/#mor... this one[/url] that talk about the rituals having meaning, even as the writer knows that the celebration itself has problematic roots.

Anti-racism has many points, one of which is to decolonize all our "Westernized" minds, white folks, FN people and POC, that view European as better than all others. This is an ongoing project of course, it's not like we can wake up one morning and say "Wahoo! I'm decolonized!" [img]tongue.gif" border="0[/img]

As for what happens when we start to move past anti-racism, and start to envision a more equitable world for everyone, well, who knows. Lots of possibilities there.

CMOT Dibbler

quote:


But Africa is a big place of many cultures - and black North America isn't directly a part of any one of them.

But there are a lot of immigrants coming from the african continent and settling in North America.

That said, I don't see anything wrong with Kwanzaa, as long as people who practice it don't wander around condemning blacks who don't take part in Kwanza celebrations as culturally deficient.

AfroHealer

I just read the history of Kwanzaa from their official website... and also the history of the organisation behind Kwanzaa.
It is interesting to note that although they claim to have come out of the Black liberation movement of the 60's.

They do not list any of the the major organisations, that were involved in the 60's struggles, as organisations that they worked with.

The rainbow coalition, SNC, Black Panther PArty etc .. are groups that anyone who was really involved in the struggle would have been involved with or at least collaborated with, and would be proud to list them on their website.

They would have done their homework, and know that very few, if any of the Africans who were kidnapped and brought to the Americas, came form any of the Swahili speaking areas of Africa.

The list is endless. I will be calling and Emailing this Guy to find out what the heck he was thinking. Hmmm . just got his voicemail, will have to try later..

Erik Redburn

I heard there's no real Santa Claus either. But there may have been a Saint Nick. Life is so confusing.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

quote:


Originally posted by AfroHealer:
[b]

The problem is when a people choose to define themselves , as if they had no history or culture before they were kidnapped. That is a sign of whitesupremacy.
Whitesupremacy, would cause some well meaning, but misguided peopel to think that Africa and African have nothign to offer them. [/b]


So are you saying that any black american organization that does not get its roots from traditional african roots is white supremacist by definition? I think I will ponder that for awhile.

This particular "tradition" claims to have incorporated some african ideas and ideals so why do you say this is not the case. You would agree would you not that like FN's culture there is no universal african culture but a multitude of variations on a theme. So an african american of presumably mixed african ancestral linage could not have a single tradition but would by necessity have to adopt a set of traditions that were not the same as any one set of traditions in africa.

So is that the creators of Kwanzaa have not incorporated any african traditions or only some or not the right ones? It seems to me if it is the first and there is absolutely no african traditions involved then the creators are charlatans for claiming otherwise. But if it is either of the others then what is the problem?

AfroHealer

quote:


Originally posted by kropotkin1951:
[b]So are you saying that any black american organization that does not get its roots from traditional african roots is white supremacist by definition? I think I will ponder that for awhile. [/b]

Yeah that is exactly what I'm saying.

If a German, Scotish or Irish person say s they want to reconected with thier heritage, but refuses to take leadership from those who have not loast connection to their Irish, German or Scotish roots, then that person is not interested.

Its funny how the Eurocentric traditions of Misappropriation of culture, seep into peoples conciousness so easily.

If i claim to have created an authentic Celtic tradition, that no Celtic peopel have ever heard of, no body in thier right mind woudl accept it as authentic or cletic.

But somehow, it is accpeted that some Prof, with a distorted past, who was more than happy to sell out his fellow brethren, for the betterment of the CIA and FBI, now has something that is Authentically African. (excuse me while i go laugh, at this again) .. White supremacy and Eurocentricity always seem to come back to some forms of mental masturbation.

It is a well know fact amongst those who are actually interested in preserving African culture, that many of the Kidnapped did not loose their culture and language. There are in fact whole communities, that were setup in the south, that have preserved the ancient African traditions in the Americas for 100's of years.

SO if this dude was real, he would have know about that, and would have taken the time to ask them to teach him the traditions.

The following organisation would have been more than happy to assist him

[url=http://www.yorubanation.org/]http://www.yorubanation.org/[/url]

[ 04 January 2008: Message edited by: AfroHealer ]

AfroHealer

An African kingdom in America - Kingdom of Oyotunji, Nigeria; Special Issue: The Untold Story of Blacks in the White House
American Visions, Feb-March, 1995 by Beirne Keefer

Pass through the gates and enter the Kingdom of Oyotunji, Nigeria. Capital of the Yoruba people of the Western Hemisphere, Oyotunji welcomes visitors with a sign that reads, "You are now leaving the United States and entering this Kingdom." Once you have entered, you are, for all purposes, in Nigeria. Oyotunji is a mysterious little village nestled snugly in Beaufort County, S.C. Such modem cities as Charleston, S.C., to the north and Savannah, Ga., to the south are forgotten in this 10-acre paradise of the Yoruba people. His Royal Highness Oba Oseijeman, crowned in 1981 in Ife, Nigeria, reigns over all Yorubas in the Western Hemisphere from this post in South Carolina.

Read more here
[url=http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1546/is_n1_v10/ai_16769692]http:/...

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

I'd be interested in learning more about these communities:

quote:

It is a well know fact amongst those who are actualy interested in preserving African culture, that many of the Kidnapped did not loose thier culture and languge. There are infact whole communiteis, that were setup in the south, that have preserved the anceint African traditions in the Americas for 100's of years.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

quote:


But somehow, it is accpeted that some Prof, with a distorted past, who was more than happy to sell out his fellow brethren, for the betterment of the CIA and FBI, now has something that is Authentically African. (excuse me while i go laugh, at this again) .. White supremacy and Eurocentricity always seem to come back to some forms of mental masturbation.


I knew nothing of Kwanza before this thread thank you for the enlightment. None of the POC that I am in contact with celebrate it but they are Canadian and this seems to be american in origin. So the original post was in fact not racist drivel but a valid attack on the 12% of black americans who follow this 40 year old celebration?

Personally I don't know anything about the man or the other people who have promoted and followed this celebration. Do you have any proof that the originator of this program sold out his brethren to the CIA and FBI? Until Makawa raised it as a possibility (he didn't say it was anything more than a possibility)I had never heard this but you have now repeated it as truth. At the same time it appears from your earlier post (posted after Makawa's suggestion) that you just learnt who the founder of this movement was so you must be able to cite the information you found that supports these very serious acqusations about a movement that many black americans see as empowering and anti-racist.

[url=http://www.history.com/minisite.do?content_type=Minisite_Generic&content... History[/url]

quote:

Dr. Maulana Karenga, professor and chairman of Black Studies at California State University, Long Beach, created Kwanzaa in 1966. After the Watts riots in Los Angeles, Dr. Karenga searched for ways to bring African-Americans together as a community. He founded US, a cultural organization, and started to research African "first fruit" (harvest) celebrations. Karenga combined aspects of several different harvest celebrations, such as those of the Ashanti and those of the Zulu, to form the basis of Kwanzaa.

The name Kwanzaa is derived from the phrase "matunda ya kwanza" which means "first fruits" in Swahili. Each family celebrates Kwanzaa in its own way, but celebrations often include songs and dances, African drums, storytelling, poetry reading, and a large traditional meal. On each of the seven nights, the family gathers and a child lights one of the candles on the Kinara (candleholder), then one of the seven principles is discussed. The principles, called the Nguzo Saba (seven principles in Swahili) are values of African culture which contribute to building and reinforcing community among African-Americans. Click here for the principles. Kwanzaa also has seven basic symbols which represent values and concepts reflective of African culture. Click here for the symbols. An African feast, called a Karamu, is held on December 31.


This site sets out what it says is the history of Kwanza. It is in direct contradiction of your view that it is not african at all. So could you please provide some links to support your view of this celebration?

quote:

I just read the history of Kwanzaa from their official website... and also the history of the organisation behind Kwanzaa.
It is interesting to note that although they claim to have come out of the Black liberation movement of the 60's.
They do not list any of the the major organisations, that were involved in the 60's struggles, as organisations that they worked with.

I am still confused about Kwanzaa however I think your Celtic analogies are a bit off. Scottish Celts and other people interested in the great celtic traditon of bagpipe playing do not go to the homeland of the Celts they come to Burnaby mountain and learn from the Canadian pipers who are the best in the world. Another Canadian example would be Zydeco music. If you really want to get to the roots of the music you would either have to got to africa or Moncton because there is more than one culture involved in this settler music.

AfroHealer

I ws nto talkign about just Music.

Then againg if we go someoen to canda, ti would be to a place that is renouned for its connection to its past.

If someone just starts inventing stuff, based on National geographic, they would be a lot of suspicion.

You can go do your own research, Google is your friend and you will find lots of stuff.

If you followed the links to racialisious, you will also find some links.

As someone who grew up on the west-coast of Africa, and is immersed in the ancient and modern traditions.

It is usually not difficult for us to spot the fakes.

Fela Kuti called them "oposite people", because you just have to pay attenton, and they will always reveal themselves.

Ever since i first hear of Kwanzaa when i moved to Canada, I knew something stunk about it, but did not do any research & respectfully did not have to. The ancestors always guide those who listen.

I have chosen to do some research , just over the last few days, so that i can verify what the ancestor had shared with me. And once again, the ancestors have been proven to be right.

you might also want to read this

[url=http://www.racialicious.com/2007/12/31/what-does-kwanzaa-mean-to-us/]htt...

or this [url=http://www.nbufront.org/html/X-PressYourself/KwanzaaStamp1.html]http://w...

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Isn't it rather nostalgic and artificially utopian to think that a nation or people can harvest identity through a history that has no real connection to them? During the Irish renaissance, for example, many people sought to define the Irish nation through deluded rehashings of Celtic myth--famously lampooned by James Joyce, Oscar Wilde and others. How, possibly, could the modern city of Dublin, beset as it was by poverty, disease and colonialism, hope to redeem itself by looking backwards at a druidic culture that had nothing to do with them?

In fact, African American writers like Ralph Ellison and Chester Himes have also criticized the "Back to Africa" movement as a way for American Blacks, estranged from Africa by slavery and centuries of separation, to somehow recover or construct their culture. This is not to say that those who attempt to reclaim their identity through such strategies are deluded, but how can someone make a statement such as "any black American organization that does not get its roots from traditional African roots is white supremacist by definition"? Because you do not agree with the genesis of such cultural material is no reason to deny its real contribution to the construction of a legitimate identity. In fact, it is quite audacious, even supremacist, to say so.

[ 04 January 2008: Message edited by: Catchfire ]

Maysie Maysie's picture

Just popping in to comment on this:

quote:

kropotkin: You would agree would you not that like FN's culture there is no universal african culture but a multitude of variations on a theme.

I will admit to a great deal of lack of knowledge about the variety of FN traditions and African traditions.

But, sure, the above statement is true in the same ways that the Bible, the Torah and the Koran have the same roots and are a "variation on a theme". Monotheists are all alike. [img]tongue.gif" border="0[/img]

Jerry West

Some may find this article in the Broward Times of interest:

[url=http://www.browardtimes.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=90... Kinder, Gentler Kwanzaa[/url]

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Thanks Afro-healer for the link to racialicious.

this is what I read:

quote:

I was raised with Kwanzaa when I was younger. Every year, Mom broke out the kente cloth table mats, the ear of corn, the wooden chalice thing she bought from the black expo, our wooden carved kinara and the red, black, and green candles. We celebrated Kwanzaa every year for about five years.

As my sister and I entered adolescence our enthusiasm for the holiday waned. After a while, we stopped formally celebrating Kwanzaa.

(Though, I must mention that we were subject to random pop quizzes. “Spell kujichagulia and tell me what it stands for!”)

As an adult, I don’t celebrate Kwanzaa. (I also have yet to find enough Christmas spirit to decorate my studio.)

That will change in a few years though, when I have children.

You see, Kwanzaa is very useful in helping children to understand their identity, to know who they are. The discussion of the Nguzo Saba is actually an excellent springboard into conversations about identity, community, responsibility, and purpose. Even if a child doesn’t think about Kwanzaa at all for the other 51 weeks each year, the lessons of Kwanzaa will remain with them.

I learned to understand umoja (unity) which is why I feel a strong call to serve my community.

I learned about kujichagulia (self-determination) which inspires me to keep pushing toward my goals and making my dreams into a reality.

I try to practice ujima (collective work and responsibility) which means I will go out and support my community in various ways. This is mainly financial (seeking out black owned businesses) but will later expand to being a mentor and a foster parent.

Becoming a business owner and networking with other black professionals allows me to employ the principle of ujamaa (cooperative economics).

My entire life is dedicated to nia (purpose). Why am I here? What am I supposed to do to improve my community? What is my role?

Learning to use your skills to benefit your community is a practical application of kuumba (creativity). Encouraging others to tap into their creative self is also important to me.

Believing in others and believing in ourselves is the cornerstone of imani (faith). Imani is the final principle, used on the final day of Kwanzaa. And then your new year begins allowing you the opportunity to put these principles into practice.


I now have a better understanding of this afro-american holiday. As is my normal practice in looking at cultures that are not my own I always prefer to see the positve that the people of that culture see and not the nastiness of the naysayers (like the author of the original article that started this thread) who believe their view of someones elses culture is the only correct one. It is apparent that this festival is as contrived as having X-mas on Dec. 25 because Jesus was supposed to have been born on that date.

I celebrate during the long days of winter because it is a tradition that is pre-christian not because it is supposedly christs' birthday. Just because I have lost all contact with my old religion roots doesn't mean I shouldn't still have a tree and party during the long nights bridging the winter solstice.

Proaxiom

quote:


Originally posted by kropotkin1951:
[b]It is apparent that this festival is as contrived as having X-mas on Dec. 25 because Jesus was supposed to have been born on that date.[/b]

I think most Christians know Jesus wasn't really born on December 25. That's just the day it is celebrated. There is no way of knowing on what day he was actually born.

At least that's what they told me in Catholic school.