Saturday, December 25, 2010

Kwanzaa 101 2010

Hetep and Respect every holiday is a Cultural Health opportunity. If you have never seen the seven principles of Kwanzaa take a look. If you have seen them and need a refresher here it is. One of the nice things about the holidays is that we get a chance to learn about each others holidays.
Director M.K. Asante, Jr.

Did you know there was a feature film about Kwanzaa called The Black Candle: Well in 2009 the film won the Best Documentary at the Africa World Documentary Film Festival in Saint Louis, Missouri and Lagos, Nigeria. This year The Black Candle: A Kwanzaa Celebration was featured on the CBS Early Show. Debbye Turner of Positively Black interviews the Director about the vision behind the film, the holiday, and the movement.

Let's Go To The Video Tape

***The Black Candle*** (Trailer)

Kwanzaa is the most widely celebrated original African American holiday. “The Father of Kwanzaa” is Maulana Ron Karenga, an African American scholar and social activist. The celebration runs from December 26 to January 1. Kwanzaa (First Fruits Festival) is in the best spirit of Cultural Literacy in that it is a synchronization of African values at home and abroad. This remarkable blend of African and African American values is a major force in the fight to improve Cultural Health in our community by raising Cultural Literacy and reducing Cultural Poisoning here in America

The Origin of Kwanzaa comes into recorded history in Classical African Civilization, Kamet (Ancient Egypt)as this First fruit Offering left by our ancestors to instruct us down through the millennium. Dr. Karanga is a resurrecter and restorer of that which has always been and is our legacy to continue.

Kwanzaa is anchored by its seven guiding principles, known as the Nguzo Saba. Each principle is denoted by one word from the pan African language known as Swali, as reproduced below. I have added the pronunciation.

Nguzo Saba (The Seven Principles)

1. UMOJA (Unity) [oo-MO-jah]
To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and ethnic group.

2. KUJICHAGULIA (Self-determination) [koo-jee-cha-goo-LEE-ah]
To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves instead of being defined, named, created for and spoken for by others.

3. UJIMA (Collective Work and Responsibility) [oo-JEE-mah]
To Build and maintain our community together and make our sister's and brother's problems our problems and to solve them together.

4. UJAMAA (Cooperative Economics) [oo-jah-MAH]
To Build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together.

5. NIA (Purpose) [NEE-ah]
To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.

6. KUUMBA (Creativity) [koo-OOM-bah]
To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.

7. IMANI (Faith) [ee-MAH-nee]
To believe with all our hart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

By Maulana Ron Karenga
with Cultural Health Modification by Rudy Aunk

Note: In the interest of Cultural Health, the word "race" has been changed to ethnic group in the first principle ("race" is a doublespeak word - See my Book DoubleSpeak in Black and White).

My First Kwanzaa Ngram

The Kwanza Ngram (Kwanza Kwanzaa First Fruits Trigram) looks through 500 billion words written from 1800 to 2000 and builds a graph that tells you something about kwanzaa consciousness over recent history.
Source: Click Here

Most interesting, as it is clear that this modern First Fruits festival has gained substantial traction in the last 20 years, we also understand the concept in African recorded history goes back far beyond Google's database at this point in its development.
Here is a data point 1800-1810 from the new Unigram for "First fruits".
EMANUEL SWEDENBORG - 1803 - Full view
wherefore when the first-fruits of corn and of wine are ... The first-fruits of the first-born were offered to Jehovah, and from Jehovah were given to Aaron and to his seed, ...
It is interesting to look back at these rituals from the continent. It is also important to note, as shown in one of the Kemetic picture in this article, that African first fruits rituals go back thousands of years in recorded history before the Bible now widely used in the West was written.

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