Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Kwanzaa: The Real Story

by Bonnie Calhoun

Here I go, getting myself in trouble again, but sometimes you gotta' do what you gotta' do!

I got a few e-mails (the ones from last year know better *snort*) from people who have asked me why I did a post on Christmas but I don't do one on Kwanzaa, and they wanted to know why.

Well here's my answer...

I am a born-again, evangelical Christian. Christmas is the commemoration of the birthday of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Kwanzaa, is a black-oriented holiday invented in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga. On September 17, 1971, this same man was handed one to ten years in prison because of charges filed in 1970 where Karenga and two of his cohorts tortured two women that he accused of trying to kill him.

Karenga beat the women with an electrical cord and a karate baton after ordering them to strip naked. The one woman had a hot soldering iron put in her mouth and placed against her face. That not being sufficient torture, Kurenga also put detergent and running hoses in their mouths.

But ya' know who am I to throw stones...we all make mistakes...rightttttt!

Initially Kwanzaa developed because Karenga held a hostility toward Western religion. He wrote in his 1980 book, Kawaida Theory, "denies and diminishes human worth, capacity, potential and achievement. In Christian and Jewish mythology, humans are born in sin, cursed with mythical ancestors who've sinned and brought the wrath of an angry God on every generation's head."

He similarly opposed belief in God and other "spooks who threaten us if we don't worship them and demand we turn over our destiny and daily lives." Thus, Karenga explained in his 1977 Kwanzaa: Origin, Concepts, Practice, "Kwanzaa is not an imitation, but an alternative, in fact, an oppositional alternative to the spookism, mysticism and non-earth based practices which plague us as a people and encourage our withdrawal from social life rather than our bold confrontation with it."

The holiday "was chosen to give a Black 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."

Since then, the holiday has gained mainstream adherents, and Karenga has altered its justification so as not to alienate practicing Christians: "Kwanzaa was not created to give people an alternative to their own religion or religious holiday," he writes in Kwanzaa: A Celebration of Family, Community, and Culture, published in 1997.

So, would I as a Christian, American, black woman celebrate this, this Kwanzaa...not with a ten foot pole!

I know there will be people out there who get riled up by my comments.

Too sad!


Post a Comment