12/25/2007

Kwanzaa -- the holiday and the founder


Here is the basis of Kwanzaa:

"The name Kwanzaa derives from the Swahili phrase "matunda ya kwanza", meaning "first fruits". The choice of Swahili, an East African language, reflects its status as a symbol of Pan-Africanism, especially in the 1960s, though most African-Americans have West African ancestry. Karenga stated "People think it's African, but it's not. I came up with Kwanzaa because Black people wouldn't celebrate it if they knew it was American.

Central to Karenga's collectivist doctrine are the Nguzo Saba, the Seven Principles of Blackness, which are reinforced during the seven days of Kwanzaa:
Umoja (unity)—To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.
Kujichagulia (self-determination)—To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves.
Ujima (collective work and responsibility)—To build and maintain our community together and make our brother's and sister's problems our problems and to solve them together.
Ujamaa (cooperative economics)—To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.
Nia (purpose)—To make our collective vocation the building and development of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
Kuumba (creativity)—To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
Imani (faith)—To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle."

Here is the founder of Kwanzaa:

"Maulana Karenga (born July 14, 1941), also known as Ron Everett, is a controversial African American author and political activist who was once convicted of felony assault and false imprisonment. He is best known as the founder of Kwanzaa, a week-long Pan-African celebration observed each year from December 26 to January 1, initiated in California in 1967.

At the beginning of the 1960s, Karenga met Malcolm X and began to embrace Black nationalism. Following the Watts riots in 1965, he interrupted his doctoral studies at UCLA and joined the Black Power movement. During this time, he took on the title "maulana", Swahili for "master teacher." maulana also meant lord. He formed the US Organization, an outspoken Black nationalist group.
In 1969, Us and the Black Panthers disagreed over who should head the new Afro-American Studies Center at UCLA. According to a Los Angeles Times article, Karenga and his supporters backed one candidate, the Panthers another. The Black Student Union set up a coalition to try to bring peace between the groups, which ended when two members of the Black Panthers, John Jerome Huggins and Alprentice "Bunchy" Carter were shot dead in an altercation.

In 1971 Karenga, Louis Smith, and Luz Maria Tamayo were convicted of felony assault and false imprisonment for assaulting and torturing two women from the Us organization, Deborah Jones & Gail Davis, over a two day period. [4] A May 14, 1971 article in the Los Angeles Times described the testimony of one of the women: "Deborah Jones, who once was given the Swahili title of an African queen, said she and Gail Davis were whipped with an electrical cord and beaten with a karate baton after being ordered to remove their clothes. She testified that a hot soldering iron was placed in Ms. Davis's mouth and placed against Ms. Davis's face and that one of her own big toes was tightened in a vise. Karenga also put detergent and running hoses in their mouths, she said.

In Karenga's words "The Christian is our worse enemy. Quiet as it's kept, it was a Christian who enslaved us. Quiet as it's kept it's a Christian who burns us. Quiet as it's kept it's a Christian who beats us down on the street; and quiet as it's kept when the thing goes down it'll be a Christian that's shooting us down. You have to face the fact that if the Christian is doing all this there must be something wrong with Christanity."

(all information is courtesy of wikipedia)

17 comments:

Yehudi01 said...

It's funny that you posted this, Jason, because just last night I looked up the history of Kwanzaa, and read the same info on Wikipedia. I need to temper my remarks here, for fear I;ll be labeled a 'racist,' so I'll say this: Mr. Karenga, boo-frickin-hoo. If you don't like your Christian oppressors, go back to west africa. If we, as Jews, don't like it here, we can go home to Israel. No one is stopping you, and frankly...it's time to stop playing the victim.

I've never had someone wish me a 'Happy Kwanzaa,' but I think if they did, I'd gladly give them a "Bah! Humbug!"

The Frank Family said...

Go back to west Africa? Don't you mean go back to west Maryland?!!! He was the 14th son of a baptist minister and grew up on a poultry farm in Parsonsburg, Maryland. For being against the American goverrnment he didn't seem to complain when he was admitted into UCLA under a federal program for high school dropouts. I've probably seen more of West Africa than he has.

Yehudi01 said...

LOL! Good point, Jason! Most militant blacks are so far removed from their true historic roots that their argument against 'The Man' is ridiculous at best.

nanc said...

i think i'm going to make up a holiday...

this topic stirs the crappe out of the posters at fpm - i love to watch them squirm as they're slain with facts!

HAPPY DAY AFTER CHRISTmas!

Elmer's Brother said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jungle Mom said...

I'll skip this holiday for sure!!! I am waiting to see what kind of holiday nance will come up with...

The Frank Family said...

I'm waiting to see what nanc is going to cook for her holiday!!!

Yehudi01 said...

Food??? If it's fried, baked, sauteed, broiled, steamed, boiled, microwaved, or simmered, count me in!

The Hermit said...

I never could follow the Kwanza thing. Most black people I know just celebrate Christmas. But maybe if I went down to Atlanta it would be different. Everything else down there is.

The Frank Family said...

I believe nanc is proficient in all these styles of cooking so I think you're in luck!!! Now if we could all meet at her cabin and......

Ann said...

Count me in!

WomanHonorThyself said...

hiya Jason..the man was evil and sinister..and I am not ashamed to tell any blacks how pitiful this made up holiday is!..great post!

Joe Gringo said...

Thanks for posting, I never really paid much attention to the Kwanzaa thing, my instinct led me to believe it was BS, can't wait for next year when the Kwanzaa nonsense comes up......I'll be prepared.

Thanks for the kind words at my site!

Jan said...

Jason..I'm glad you posted this, because I had planned to do it myself, but didn't, because I already have one crazy lurker, and I don't need more of them.

I found this information a few years ago, and today, on my local tv channels, that's all you can hear.."Happy Kwanzaa".. and all I could think was how pathetic that people are so uninformed, or just plain don't care.

Knowing the facts about this diabolical, racist holiday, I refuse to wish anyone a happy Kwanzaa!

nanc said...

KNICK-KNART!

bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahaha!

The Frank Family said...

nanc -- you liked that, eh?!

jan -- yeah, most people just don't know where it comes from. The majority of people believe it to be from Africa. It's more of a New England or Californian holiday than an african holiday.

Joe Gringo -- Keep this information in mind. I loved the photos at your blog. You are living in such a beautiful place. Simply breathtaking!!!

Angel -- I just wish you knew how to stand up for yourself more!!! ; P

Ann -- great to see you here!

Hermit -- Chrstmas seems to be much more of a unifying holiday which is what they claim Kwanzaa is for. I always thought the ideals of Christmas such as faith, love, giving, rejoicing, etc. were the "principles of blackness." I have many black friends that are all about these ideals and don't give a thought to a need for another holiday.

Brooke said...

I do my own Kwannzzaaaaa post every year.

It's such a load. Normally, I would say that a person should celebrate anything they want, but a fake holiday made up by a hateful, torturing rapist?

No thanks.