So as a joke people at work were asking me how I’m celebrating Kwanzaa. You know the supposed week long African American holiday from the day after Christmas to New Year’s Day. Actually you probably didn’t know that especially if you are outside of America. I managed to find a website claiming to be the official Kwanzaa site.  I wondered what the point of this holiday that no one celebrates was. Kwanzaa was establish in the 1960s by Maulana Karenga who was part of the black nationalist movement. There are several sections of the website that answer the general questions about the holiday. Basically, it is to connect African Americans with their African origins. They even have Seven Principles that represent African values:
Umoja (Unity)
Kuji-chagulia (Self-determination)
Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility)
Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)
Nia (Purpose)
Kuumba (Creativity)
Imani (Faith)
Each one has their own day throughout the week. Wikipedia has a nice description of each one.
I don’t know who these people are that celebrate Kwanzaa now. I sort of get the need for this in the 1960s when you are trying to promote black rights/equality/pride, but at this point I don’t see it. I personally have no interest in African values because I’m not African. Who knows how many generations removed from Africa I am? We all know that African Americans are not immigrants that chose to come to America. We were kidnapped by or sold to slave traders to do labor in the New World. Like it or not, most of us are thoroughly American now. Even though we are minorities and seen as not really American, we have been here longer than several people of European and Asian descent. Not many people think about that.
It is amazing to me in all the historical movies, documentaries, and TV shows that focus on the struggle of immigrants to be accepted and black people have yet to reach that. Back in the day, Irish immigrants were discriminated against and couldn’t get jobs. Then magically one day they win and step over the black people into the real American category. Japanese people were round up during wartime and put in camps but now you don’t hear about discrimination against them much anymore.
For a moment, I thought after 9-11 when we were all Americans, black people would be accepted. However, we are just sharing it with others. Black people are kind of lucky at the moment with America’s preoccupation with Arabs and Hispanics, which took some of the hatred away from us. I’m not sure how long that will last since again we are not immigrants. I think soon it will be us and the Native Americans in the background because every other minority group is going to continue to increase. And somehow all that came from having to hear about Kwanzaa.  I thought I would add a couple comedy clips from Chris Rock and Paul Mooney to compliment the diatribe since I couldn’t make a good enough cartoon this week.