Why I Can’t Celebrate Kwanzaa

This is pretty much how I feel… even though I ain’t much for celebrations and all that…. we can party when the war is won…


I don’t do Kwanzaa. I just don’t. I never have, and the very thought of it evokes some difficult memories and feelings for me.

It’s not the holiday’s religious trappings or its Afro-syncretic fusion of Jewish menorahs, Swahili words, Kemetic, Christian and other rituals. I understand people do have a perfect human right to adopt or make up the cultural and religious practices that suit them. Rastafarianism, Voudon, Santería, and Candomblé all borrow from multiple traditions, as does Islam from Judaism and Christianity, and Christianity from Judaism, Greek and Roman sources, and so on. So I have no quarrel whatsoever with those who celebrate and find value in Kwanzaa.

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Kwanzaa’s Ujamaa and Ujima | Grassroots Economic Organizing

Some good ideas here…

Kwanzaa is an African-inspired holiday practiced by millions of African Americans from December 26 – January 1.  African values, which are geared toward care of the whole or the collective rather than the individual, are remembered during this 7-day celebration.  Seven principles or values make up the foundation of Kwanzaa—they are listed at the end of this article. Continue reading