2023 Home For The Holidays

Page 42 2023 Home For The Holidays Lincoln Daily News November 23, 2022 was asked why he chose to place Kwanzaa immediately after Christmas. Many people who don’t know any better may simply believe Kwanzaa to be “black Christmas.” In his answer to why he chose December 26th to January 1st, Dr. Karenga stated that his decision, like all decisions he made when creating Kwanzaa, was based on African culture. “It’s based on the Zulu “First Fruits,” or harvest celebration called Umkhosi, and it straddles the year in December and January.” Dr. Karenga went further with his answer, stating that when he says something is African, you can believe him. He can demonstrate the cultural grounding of his choices, showing that they are authentic. Dr. Karenga stated another reason he chose to have Kwanzaa when he did is because the end of the year and beginning of the next is a great time for reflection. “Part of Kwanzaa is reflection,” Dr. Karenga stated, “remembrance, reflection, and recommitment.” During the same interview, Dr. Karenga was asked a very interesting question regarding Kwanzaa and whether or not it should be celebrated by other cultures. Dr. Omekongo Dibinga stated that he was sharing information about Kwanzaa, and specifically its seven principles, with a white woman. She really started considering also celebrating the holiday, and Dr. Dibinga asked the question of whether or not people of other cultures and backgrounds should celebrate Kwanzaa since it is specifically an African American centered holiday. Dr. Karenga said the question should be rephrased. The question should not be can they celebrate Kwanzaa. The question should be can they celebrate black people and their history in America. If someone is willing to put themselves aside and make the celebration of African culture the central part of their celebrations, then they should be able to celebrate it just the same. Kwanzaa may be a recent holiday, but its cultural history goes back hundreds, if not thousands, of years. The holiday itself is important for people of African heritage all over the United States and the world, and the principles it shares are universally significant for people of all races. There is a quote from Dr. Karenga that really helps summarize Kwanzaa and its significance to the world. “Indeed, this is our duty: to know our past and honor it; to engage our present and improve it; and to imagine a whole new future and forge it in the most ethical, effective and expansive ways.” [Matt Boutcher] Resources: https://nmaahc.si.edu/ kwanzaa#:~:text=Kwanzaa%20was%20 created%20in%201966,communal%20 and%20non%2Dheroic%20holiday. https://www.history.com/news/5-things-youmay-not-know-about-kwanzaa https://africanamericanculturalcenter-la.org/ lifting-up-the-light-that-lasts/ https://www.officialkwanzaawebsite.org/img/ index/Kwanzaa--ABriefDescription2016.jpg https://nmaahc.si.edu/explore/stories/sevenprinciples-kwanzaa https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=hEp7SvCgm_I https://www.csueu.org/news/archive/qa-withdr-maulana-karenga