Recently for the first time ever I celebrated Kwanzaa. Before celebrating the Kwanzaa holiday I was very excited. I made elaborate plans with my family. I kinda demanded my family to be present every day for seven days. I wanted to spend more time with my family and embark a new tradition of Kwanzaa. Sounds dope right?
Well things did not go according to plan. Most of my family members (family of 4 including me) did not want to celebrate and they thought I was being over the top as always. I was a little deterred from celebrating Kwanzaa because from my understanding it’s a holiday meant to be celebrated with family. Nonetheless I decided I was going to celebrate anyway and whoever decided to celebrate with me cool! If someone didn’t want to celebrate with me that was cool too! I found it absurd that a holiday based off my African American ancestry was barely mentioned by anyone in my community….my whole life! Being an African AmeriCAN is lit so it’s amazing to celebrate your heritage. I decided to attend a cultural service every night of Kwanzaa. The first night was great! At the cultural center I attended there was rich culture from the arts, music, food and messages. However, one message in particular did not sit well with me. One speaker mentioned “the white man is a devil.” My mouth dropped and it was like I watched a bad scene from a movie. I could not believe my ears. I continued to listen and the speaker elaborated on his statement. The speakers statement still did not make sense to me. I even witnessed more than a couple of people leave the cultural center while the speaker continued to spread his message.
What stood out to me was that I am PRO-LOVE. I am proud of who I am but I do not have to put others or an entire race down to uplift myself. It is possible to be pro-black without being anti-white. In the words of Mama Tina, “It’s such beauty in black people, and it really saddens me when we’re not allowed to express that pride in being black, and that if you do, then it’s considered anti-white. No! You just pro-black. And that’s okay. The two don’t go together. Because you celebrate black culture does not mean that you don’t like white culture or that you putting it down.”
On another note I loved celebrating Kwanzaa! Kwanzaa will definitely be a holiday I’ll celebrate every year proudly!