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I need info on Kwaanza (and sorry if I spelled it wrong)

I have a few questions, and I know if I post this in a group I'll get all kids of folks all hot and bothered and I don't want it turned into some sort of racial b*tch fest and I don't feel like getting a new one ripped. Here goes: Can white people celebrate Kwaanza, does Kwaanza have anyother celebrations during the year, what is the basis of Kwaanza? Is it secular?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 8:15 PM on Nov. 23, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

Answers (10)
  • Kwanzaa is an African-American cultural holiday which originated in 1966. Created by Dr. Maulana Karenga, Kwanzaa is celebrated from Dec. 26 - Jan. 1. Each day of the celebration focuses on one of seven principles ("Nguzo Saba"). The name, "Kwanzaa", is taken from the Swahili phrase "matunda ya kwanza" which means "first fruits."

    The seven principles (Nguzo Saba) are: Unity (Umoja), Self-determination (Kujichagulia), Collective Work and Responsibility (Ujima), Cooperative Economics (Ujamaa), Purpose (Nia), Creativity (Kuumba), and Faith (Imani).

    Answer by bonn777 at 8:42 PM on Nov. 23, 2009

  • I copied and pasted this directly from Feel free to check out the rest of the information yourself. A caucasian person would look silly celebrating this holiday for obvious reasons. It was basically an invented holiday so they could segregate themselves.

    Why Was Kwanzaa Started?

    Ron Karenga began the Kwanzaa tradition in ’66 in an attempt to give African Americans a holiday of their own that would parallel Christmas but would pay reverence to the African heritage. Karenga wanted African Americans to have the ability to rise above the traditions imposed upon them from society – to fight against what he viewed as enforced assimilation.


    Answer by nicolemstacy at 9:01 PM on Nov. 23, 2009

  • OP: there is more to it than the pp has put it. If you're really interested, go to the website and read the whole history. Also remember at the time it was started AA's did not have many freedoms that the rest of society had. It was in the middle of the civil rights movement. AA's were being hung and beaten and killed. We weren't allowed to sit at the same table the same restaurant live in the same neighborhoods go to the same schools etc. as others. Also remember when slaves were brought here from africa they were stripped of all of their identity (names, holidays, traditions, culture, home, land etc.). Yes, we could identify with Christmas because many believed in God and His Son Jesus. We could not identify with Thanksgiving.. we weren't pilgrims, white or native american. Everything was taken.. Kwanzaa gives us something for us.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:19 PM on Nov. 23, 2009

  • cont. If there's an African American museum or chamber of commerce in your area.. walk in and ask about Kwanzaa and other things such as Juneteenth... that way you'll have a little more awareness. Will that be upset by the fact you're asking or wanting to know more? NO. The exact opposite.. you are wanting to know more about AA history. Also, check in your area if there is a Kwanzaa celebration or activity and contact the person in charge.

    The previous poster makes it sound like a bad thing and AA's want to seperate themselves from others. This is not the case.. each culture has their heritage and things they celebrate that is about where they come from. AA's had it taken away so we have Kwanzaa.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:22 PM on Nov. 23, 2009

  • i don't see it as a separation but as a holiday designed to remember their roots and to unify them as a people.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:40 PM on Nov. 23, 2009

  • I am white and I celebrate Kwanzaa. I do it mostly because my 3 oldest are mixed and I want them to know about their heritage and the struggles their ancestors went through, but I see nothing wrong with anyone of any color celebrating it.


    Answer by Ibelongtojesus at 7:54 AM on Nov. 24, 2009

  • There are seven principles called Nguzo Saba they are: Unity (Umoja), Self-determination (Kujichagulia), Collective Work and Responsibility (Ujima), Cooperative Economics (Ujamaa), Purpose (Nia), Creativity (Kuumba), and Faith (Imani).
    Each priciple has a story that you tell to teach about that priciple. You also sing African songs(although I do not know any) and play games of African descent.

    Answer by Ibelongtojesus at 8:04 AM on Nov. 24, 2009

  • On the last day there is a feast to clebrate the harvest that was brought in. You are to have african amierican food but I have done differant things. Each child has a gift hat is given to them on the last day that is supposed to be either from africa or something that they can learn from on their culture. There is also a special mat that is called a Mkeka(?) that you can get the pattern for off of
    An ear of corn is also placed for each chld. You also have a special glass (Kikombe cha Umoja )
    that each person takes a drink out of.
    I do this every year and invite my mom her husband who is black, my friend , his neighbor who is black, and a mixed family down the street. Not one fo them complain that I shouldn't do it because I am white.

    Answer by Ibelongtojesus at 8:04 AM on Nov. 24, 2009

  • So the guy that came up with Kwanza, brought these traditions over from Africa with him? These are based in African tradition? I guess what I am asking is where did these or were these principals derived from? Do tribes in Africa celebrate Kwanzaa? Is Kwanzaa big in Africa, like Christmas or Hanukkah in the US?


    Answer by Anonymous at 10:44 AM on Nov. 24, 2009

  • Kwanzaa is not an African holiday. It is an American holiday based on the principles one man (really more than one man, but he codified it & put his name on it) observed while visiting different areas of Africa which he assumed his ancestors had come from. The holiday isn't a direct transplant, but a new (only about 40 yrs old) holiday based on African tradition. As far as I know it hasn't travelled back across the ocean in any significant way.


    Answer by nysa00 at 12:08 PM on Nov. 24, 2009

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