Boy, am I late.
When I first heard about Kwanzaa some twenty years ago in college, I pretty much blew it off as some made-up bourgeois to satisfy the militant Black Student Union, the ones who were mad that other cultures had their own holidays to observe. My classmates’ hard sell for me to abandon the white man’s Christmas in favor of Kwanzaa turned me off completely
After the dawn of the Information Superhighway, with more people embracing Kwanzaa, my curiosity made me want to at least research the phenomenon. I was intrigued by the principles, philosophy, and Afrocentric decorations, but I still wasn’t compelled to get into it. But I respected those who were.
Today–and don’t ask me why this epiphany didn’t happen two years ago–I can no longer afford to look side-eyed at a “holiday” that celebrates African community, culture, and family. So two minutes into the first day (Umoja–“Unity”), I’m opening my spirit to join my brothers and sisters in celebrating who we are as a people.
The candles may have to wait till next year, but I’m here for “Umoja”:
Yeah…right now, in these yet-to-be-United States, I’m all about this.
See you tomorrow.