Monday Music for Kwanzaa!

Today marks the first day of Kwanzaa, which is a celebration of family, community, and culture, observed mainly by those of us in the African Diaspora. This is also the 50th anniversary of this holiday, which was first created by Maulana Karenga and celebrated in 1966 – 1967. From Wikipedia:

Maulana Karenga created Kwanzaa in 1966, as the first specifically African-American holiday. According to Karenga, the name Kwanzaa derives from the Swahili phrase matunda ya kwanza, meaning “first fruits of the harvest”, although a more conventional translation would simply be “first fruits”. The choice of Swahili, an East African language, reflects its status as a symbol of Pan-Africanism, especially in the 1960s, although most of the Atlantic slave trade that brought African people to America originated in West Africa.

Kwanzaa is a celebration that has its roots in the black nationalist movement of the 1960s and was established as a means to help African Americans reconnect with their African cultural and historical heritage by uniting in meditation and study of African traditions and Nguzo Saba, the “seven principles of African Heritage” which Karenga said “is a communitarian African philosophy”. For Karenga, a major figure in the Black Power movement of the 1960s and 1970s, the creation of such holidays also underscored an essential premise that “you must have a cultural revolution before the violent revolution. The cultural revolution gives identity, purpose and direction.”

During the early years of Kwanzaa, Karenga said that it was meant to be an “oppositional alternative” to Christmas. However, as Kwanzaa gained mainstream adherents, Karenga altered his position so that practicing Christians would not be alienated, then stating in the 1997, Kwanzaa: A Celebration of Family, Community, and Culture, “Kwanzaa was not created to give people an alternative to their own religion or religious holiday.”

Many African Americans who celebrate Kwanzaa do so in addition to observing Christmas.

Maulana Karenga has an official Kwanzaa site, which can be found here. Here is part of his “Founders welcome” statement, which can be found on the home page:

As an African American and Pan-African holiday celebrated by millions throughout the world African community, Kwanzaa brings a cultural message which speaks to the best of what it means to be African and human in the fullest sense. Given the profound significance Kwanzaa has for African Americans and indeed, the world African community, it is imperative that an authoritative source and site be made available to give an accurate and expansive account of its origins, concepts, values, symbols and practice.

Moreover, given the continued rapid growth of Kwanzaa and the parallel expanded discussion of it and related issues, an authoritative source which aids in both framing and informing the discussion is likewise of the greatest importance. Therefore, the central interest of this website is to provide information which reveals and reaffirms the integrity, beauty and expansive meaning of the holiday and thus aids in our approaching it with the depth of thought, dignity, and sense of specialness it deserves.

I found three select songs which I think are perfect for this occasion! I’m busily putting together some screen-shots and gaming footage from over the weekend, since the New Life Festival is still in full swing…I’m officially “Magnanimous,” LOL! Talk at you all later…

😎

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. dancingpalmtrees
    Dec 26, 2016 @ 16:12:47

    Reblogged this on Espiritu en Fuego/A Fiery Spirit and commented:
    Joyful Kwanzaa to all my readers of African descent ! ♡

  2. dancingpalmtrees
    Dec 26, 2016 @ 16:14:38

    Please ignore the previous comments. Meant to wish you a Joyful Kwanzaa as well as Reblog your post. Old age is catching up with me! ♡

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