Why is it that "Us" Christians always feel the need to participate in the things that the world tells us is ok without doing the research for ourselves. As a child I always wondered what Kwanzaa was and why African-Americans celebrated it. I knew that I celebrated Christmas as the birth of Jesus Christ: my lord and savior. And even though we do not know the exact date of Jesus' s birth, for me it is still a day of reflection on God's goodness and mercy. He is so merciful that he sent his only son to die for us. Matthew 1:22-25. Christmas for me is also a day to spend with family and friends and to be thankful for everything God has blessed me with.........But I never understood Kwanzaa until I did the research myself.
Maulana Karenga of the US Organization created Kwanzaa in 1966 as the first specifically African American holiday. Karenga said his goal was to "give Blacks an alternative to the existing holiday and give Blacks an opportunity to celebrate themselves and history, rather than simply imitate the practice of the dominant society." The name Kwanzaa derives from the Swahili phrase matunda ya kwanza, meaning first fruits of the harvest. The choice of Swahili, an East African language, reflects its status as a symbol of Pan Africanism, especially in the 1960s.
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 Nguzu Saba, the "seven principles of blackness" which Karenga said "is a communitarian African philosophy".
During the early years of Kwanzaa, Karenga said that it was meant to be an alternative to Christmas, that Jesus was psychotic, and that Christianity was a white religion that black people should shun.
The most common statement one will hear about Kwanzaa is that it’s not religious. But quite the contrary as the creator of Kwanzaa, Maulana Karenga let it be known his true intent of creating this holiday through many of his writings. An example of such writings is when he made the following statement in his book titled Kawaida Theory explaining a negative of religion:
“It is a simplistic and often erroneous answer to existential ignorance, fear, powerlessness and alienation. An example is the Hebrew myth of the six-day creation and the tower of Babel, or Christian myths of resurrection, heaven and hell.” pg 23.If Christian beliefs are mythological and not real answers to life, then what was Karenga to do? Create what he believes are true answers to life complete with principles for living – thus the creation of Kwanzaa! In his attempt in pushing this as a “non-religion,” he in fact was creating a new religion for others to follow!
This is why I will not be celebrating Kwanzaa!!!
JUST MY TWO CENTS!!!!
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.
J. Lawrence Scholer, "The Story of Kwanzaa", Dartmouth Review, 15 January 2001.
Morrow, Carlotta. "The Truth About Kwanzaa." Christocentric. 26 Dec. 2010. Web. 29 Dec. 2010. <http://www.christocentric.com/main/?page_id=2699>.
"Kwanzaa." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 29 Dec. 2010. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kwanzaa>.