There is a big scandal within the black community on whether we should or should not celebrate the African American holiday we know as Kwanzaa. What do you think?
By Junior Burchall
Dr. Maulana Karenga is a piece of human trash, in the eyes of many who found his violent abuse of Afrikan women and the clashes between US and the Panthers that left Alprentice 'Bunchy' Carter and John Huggins dead to be unforgivable crimes. As a result, they steadfastly refuse to celebrate Kwanzaa.
I can dig that. Fair enough.
But, a question: do the principles of Unity, Self-Determination, Collective Work and Responsibility, Co-operative Economics, Purpose, Creativity and Faith 'belong' to him?
In other words, did Karenga make them up?
These principles predated him - in some cases, by many thousands of years. The Nguzo Saba have their point of origin in the various Continental ethnic groups and harvest celebrations (as well as in the strident calls for Afrikan economic self-sufficiency championed by UNIA founder, Marcus Garvey) that he studied.
Karenga's only contribution was the clever re-packaging of these principles for ease of assimilation by a critical mass of Afrikan people battling Babylon and seeking to reclaim subversive, liberating memory in the here-and-now.
Without a doubt, the man is most definitely flawed...just like EVERY SINGLE ONE of the Afrikan artists, freedom fighters and radical intellectuals of note who left their indelible mark on the turbulent Sixties.
Let us be wary of casting Kwanzaa aside simply because the 'delivery system' is far from perfect.
...I dunno. Thoughts?
Junior Burchall is a Pan Afrikanist writer, speaker, author, husband, stay-at-home unschooling Baba of two irrepressibly brilliant, Afrikan boys.