Thursday, December 26, 2013

Ten Facts about Kwanzaa you may not know

Ten Fast Facts about Kwanzaa
1.  Kwanzaa was founded in 1966, by a man named Ron Karenga, a criminal who kidnapped and tortured two black women for two days in 1971.  His own wife testified against him at his trial.
2. Quote from the founder (1978 Washington Post article):
“I created Kwanzaa,” laughed Ron Karenga like a teenager who’s just divulged a deeply held, precious secret. “People think it’s African. But it’s not. I wanted to give black people a holiday of their own. So I came up with Kwanzaa. I said it was African because you know black people in this country 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 (blacks) would be partying!” [1]
3.  Kwanzaa is an exclusively African AMERICAN holiday and is not celebrated in any other part of the world.
4.  When asked, Karenga says the holiday was created in the context of the Black Freedom Movement.  He is also quoted as saying:
...his goal was to "give Blacks an alternative to the existing holiday and give Blacks an opportunity to celebrate themselves and their history, rather than simply imitate the practice of the dominant society. (emphasis mine) [1]
5.  Africa celebrates Christmas in the same way  Americans celebrate the holiday.
6.  Kwanzaa, which means “first fruits” in Swahili is actually spelled with only one “a”.
7.  The seven principles of Kwanzaa are the very same seven principles of the Symbionese Liberation Army.  The banner of the SLA depicted a seven-headed cobra. Each snake head stood for one of the SLA’s revolutionary principles: Umoja, Kujichagulia, Ujima, Ujamaa, Nia, Kuumba and Imani — the exact same seven “principles” of Kwanzaa. [2]
8.  When Karenga was asked to distinguish Kawaida, the philosophy underlying Kwanzaa, from “classical Marxism,” he essentially said that, under Kawaida, we also hate whites. [2]
9.  Kwanzaa lasts 7 days, from December 26 through January 1 - thus the 7 candles.  The meaning of the seven candles -- 7 guiding principles, in Swahili, are Umoja (unity), Kujichagulia (self-determination), Ujima (collective work), Ujamaa (cooperative economics), Nia (purpose), Kuumba (creativity), and Imani (faith).
10.  The colors of Kwanzaa are black, red and green.

Another article on the holiday: Happy Kwanzaa by Paul Mulshine

I don't understand why black women would encourage the celebration of  this holiday...but then I never understood why white women continued to stand behind and promote Ted Kennedy.

[1]The Story of Ron Karenga
[2] Ann Coulter Letter (A great read)