Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Beauty of Kwanzaa

Kwanzaa makes every December a special time of the year as hundreds of millions of Africans around the globe honor their past and their present during this most special of times.

Kwanzaa means "first fruits of the harvest" in Swahili, a common language in Africa today. There are seven days of Kwanzaa (the Nguzo Saba) which runs from December 26th thru Jan 1st. Each day of Kwanzaa honors a specific African principal:

Day One is UMOJA
(UNITY) --To Strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race.

(SELF DETERMINATION) --To define ourselves, names ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves rather than to allow others to do these things for us.

Day Three is UJIMA
(COLLECTIVE WORK AND RESPONSIBILITY) --To build and maintain our community together to make our sister and brothers' problems our problems and to solve them together.

Day Four is UJAMAA
(COOPERATIVE ECONOMICS) --To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together.

Day Five is NIA
(PURPOSE) --To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.

(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 when we inherited it.

Day Seven is 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.

The traditions of Kwanzaa date back thousands of years and as far back as ancient Egypt. The ancient African celebration of Kwanzaa was a ceremony of appreciation for the "first fruits of harvest". The four elements that made up the original African meaning of Kwanzaa were unity, awareness of ancestry and heritage, recommitment to traditional values and reverence for the creator.

There are many symbols of Kwanzaa. For example, the Kwanzaa candelabra is called a kinara. The straw mat that the kinara is placed on is a mkeka. Ears of corn are also placed on the mat (Corn has a special place in African history. Africans were the first to visit the Americas long before white men did and corn was given to the African explorers as a gift from the Indians), one to represent each child in the household. They are called the vibunzi (or muhindi). A fruit basket is placed on the mkeka, and is called the mazao. The unity cup is also placed on the mkeka, and is called the kikombe cha umoja. The seven candles that are placed in the kinara are called the Mishumaa Saba. Finally, all the gifts are called the zawadi and are traditionally given on Imani - the last day of Kwanzaa.

Kwanzaa is an expression of African pride and of truth. Among all peoples on Earth, Africans are the most beautiful, the most creative and the most just of all people.


Anonymous said...

If I ever own a gun I'm going to find you and shoot you.

Anonymous said...

^i agree with anonymous up there^

how can you define creativity by race or color? look at warhol, with his famous campbells soup can piece. look at picasso, with his famous sculpture in chicago, which is loved by everybody who sees it.

Anonymous said...

warhol wasn't creative. He manipulated some photos of soup cans. Big frucking deal!

Anonymous said...

Happy Kwanzaa!

NocturnalZen said...

My dad says Kwanzaa is just an excuse for colored people to skip work.

Anonymous said...

kwanza = a made up holiday

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Wasn't Kwaanza founded in 1966 by Dr. Ron Karenga? You might want to look a bit more into your own holiday.

Anonymous said...

Kwanzaa is a bullshit, fake, African "holiday" invented by black supremacist, Ron Karenga. Who was also a criminal for felony assault and torture. His sanity was also largely in question. And the only reason he invented Kwanzaa was because of his hatred of Christianity and Judaism. He himself didn't even believe in this holiday and has been quoted saying this, “People think it’s African, but it’s not. I came up with Kwanzaa because black people wouldn’t celebrate it if they knew it was American. Also, I put it around Christmas because I knew that’s when a lot of bloods would be partying.” Like I said, its a bullshit "holiday".

Anonymous said...

I also forgot to say that it is not an ancient African Holiday but invented by Karenga in 1966.

Anonymous said...

Kwanzaa is an expression of African pride and of truth. Among all peoples on Earth, Africans are the most beautiful, the most creative and the most just of all people.
OK- So the whole premise is basically racism towards all non Africans.( like Africans are the ONLY people in history to have been slaves? OOPS- Africans went north- Barbary Coast Pirates- and kidnapped Britons and Irish people over a number of centuries) , is it?
So how is Zimbabwe going after pushing out the white farmers? OOPS- Zimbabwe is now starving it's own people to death- and how's SA going these days?
OOPS- more africans are now sick and dying in poverty than ever before-
WOW- what a totally superior and beautiful race it is!
Keep blaming white people for everything! It seems to really be helping!

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Anonymous said...

please kill yourself you nigger

Anonymous said...

Fantastic write-up. I thought you went a bit too far beyond subtlety with the origin of the corn in Kwanzaa. Looking at the comments, I feel like I might be the first person actually read this and see the joke.

Also, you don't have to be racist to think Kwanzaa is a rotten form of communist internationalism. I'm disappointed in the racist comments.