I have been celebrating Kwanzaa for the last 40 years and throughout the time I have introduced it to many friends and family members. By celebrating Kwanzaa I am connected to a larger concept, rooted in African history even though this celebration was created by an African American.
From the very beginning, when I was first introduced to Kwanzaa in California, it spoke to me, not merely as an alternative to Christmas but because of its principles which I believed then, and still do now more than ever, are essential for the development and survival of African people on the continent as well as throughout the Diaspora.
We seem to be losing ground, many are willing to accept a foreign god, to give up our countries, to denigrate and forget about our ancestors, and are seemingly contented to not study or learn about ourselves
The seven principles (Nguzo Saba) are sound practices to live by throughout the year; they provide guidance and solution to strengthen families and communities. They encourage reflection and setting goals as individuals as well as a family.
I love setting up my Kwanzaa altar, lighting the candles, having family and friends gather in a circle and articulating what each principle means to them. I love having people gather, share their goals and break bread.
Happy Kwanzaa from my family to yours. ASÉ