Tips for celebrating Kwanzaa

Jozef Syndicate

First, there is the name: Kwanzaa.

Then, the principles: Umoja, Kujichagulia,
Ujamaa, Kuuma, Ujima Nia, and Imani. These words were not part of the Black lexicon until a professor of Africana studies, Maulana Karenga, set out to create holiday designed for Blacks to observe and celebrate African culture and traditions. That was nearly 50 years ago and now the holiday is celebrated across the world with postage stamps, greeting cards, and presidential recognition. (Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush recognized the holiday)

For many people, the terms alone keep them from participating in Kwanzaa activities or even acknowledging the celebration. Others, remain critical that the observance is not an African holiday. Most people around Baton Rouge acknowledge Kwanzaa is a time where Black reconnect to community and family. The question of whether Kwanzaa is truly of African culture or a facade “holiday” for Black people still permeates throughout the…

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