People Need To Stop Joking About This Cultural Tradition Right Now
Stop. Just, stop.
Around the holidays, everyone gets excited for their respective traditions.
Those celebrating Christmas might be gathering around the tree, decorating, singing carols and watching "Home Alone," and people celebrating Channukah might be opening presents, spinning dreidels and lighting the menorah.
In the video above, Williams and Robinson show that even Glenn Beck and Ann Coulter have poked fun at Kwanzaa, which is pretty much the telltale sign it's time to join in solidarity to stop joking about Kwanzaa.
Just. Everyone. Stop. Everything.
But perhaps, we could all do with a little more information about the holiday first.
Relative to other holidays, Kwanzaa is very new.
Created in 1966 by California professor, author and activist Dr. Maulana Karenga, the day was meant to be part of a black nationalist movement to celebrate and honor African American heritage and traditions. Keep in mind, Kwanzaa was founded during the Civil Rights Movement, a time when it was especially important for African heritage to be noticed and respected. The holiday was also a way for a group of people to connect before the Internet was available for accessing community and information.
Kwanzaa is a seven day celebration, beginning December 26th and ending on January 1st. Each day is dedicated to one of seven communitarian African values:
Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility)
Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)
Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity)
According to the official Kwanzaa website, these values are meant to "serve as a regular communal celebration which reaffirm and reinforce the bonds between us [African Americans] as a people in the U.S., in the Diaspora and on the African continent, in a word, as a world African community. It was designed to unite and to strengthen African communities."
That definitely sounds like something to be respected, not to be made fun of.
Though the holiday has waned in popularity since the '80s and '90s, it is still celebrated by a few million people.
And for those who do celebrate, it is important to show some respect!