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Kwanzaa

The celebration of Kwanzaa is a means for Black people to reaffirm their commitment to themselves, their families, their community, and the black struggle for equality.

In the Afrikan continent a harvest can occur all year round in various regions depending on their geographic location and climate. Considering the decision to hold the Diasporan Kwanzaa at the end of December was  partly for financial reasons and not  agricultural  restraints, there  is no reason why  the Principles of Kwanzaa can not be celebrated at other times of the year.

There are seven days of Kwanzaa, December 26th through to January 1st. Each day focuses on a specific principle, so there are seven principles. This event is not necessarily called KWANZAA around the Afrikan continent. During the celebrations  the  community are not supposed to work but being in the diaspora where the vast majority of Black people are employed by people not of the Afrikan descent we are not in that position where we can just down tools for seven days. A great many more of us would be out of work. Unlike the Hindu, Muslim and Jewish communities for example. They mostly employ themselves and can close whenever their religions dictate whether it be for prayers or a longer celebrations of their religions respectively.

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Dr Maulana Ron Karenga

Harbari Garni?

This is the traditional diasporan Kwanzaa Greeting!

 

KWANZAA is derived from the Kiswahili phrase matunda ya kwanzaa which means first fruits of the harvest which is a depiction of the celebration of harvesting the first crops in traditional Afrika. Kwanzaa is an Afrocentric centered institution that is celebrated by people of Afrikan descent in North America, the Caribbean, Europe and other parts of the Afrikan Diaspora. It was created in 1966 by M. Ron Karenga.

On his travels to the Motherland he noticed how the communities gathered food and celebrated together.

Kwanzaa 3

 

WHY IN DECEMBER?

Knowing this Karenga decided to hold the North American version during the European Christmas celebration where many have time off work. The decision to hold the Diasporan Kwanzaa from December 26th was taken to help Black families acquire cheaper gifts (Zawadi)  for their children in the post Christmas sales in the department stores as the vast majority of Black families were in poverty

( remember this was the 1960s )

kinara Kikombe Cha Umoja