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Seven Days of Kwanzaa

Seven Days of Kwanzaa

Harambee marafiki! That means “Come together friends” and celebrate! I’m so excited because this year, me and my boyfriend will celebrate Kwanzaa for the first time.  I’ve already set up my kinara (the candle holder) and the Mishumaa Saba (candles) that represent the Nguzo Saba, or Seven Principles.  There’s still a few things that I’m missing but such as the mat, the corn, the Unity cup, etc.

kwanzaa

My Kinara

What is Kwanzaa and what does it all mean?

December 26th marks the beginning of Kwanzaa, a celebration of family, community and culture.  Kwanzaa was created by Dr. Maulana Karenga, currently a professor of Africana Studies at Cal State Long Beach (CA), in 1966 as a Pan-African and Black American holiday.  You can read more about the celebration on Dr. Karenga’s website.

It doesn’t necessarily replace Christmas, so it’s not uncommon for families who celebrate Kwanzaa to include it as a part of their usual holiday season.  However, this year we will use it in place of Christmas. So I’ve been taking the time to learn more about the Nguzo Saba and ways to celebrate each day.

Celebrate with us!

#SayHerName

#SayHerName

What’s in a name?

Life

We give life to people we’ve lost every time we speak their names so, #sayhername.  Say her name so that a year from now she is not a forgotten internet trending topic. Sandra.

What’s in a name?

History

Those people from our past have stories and we learn those stories every time we speak their names so, #sayhername. Say her name so that 5 years from now our children will know that she spoke out so the world knew that their #blacklivesmatter in the face of injustice.  Say her name so that her story will not be erased from our minds.  A Black woman, interviewing for a job – not a “hoodrat” running the streets – stopped and arrested.  A Black woman, asserting her rights and paid dearly, found dead in her holding cell. Sandra

What’s in a name?

Respect

Schools, airports, streets. All named after people from history.  From Founding Fathers to Confederate Soldiers to Civil Rights leaders and politicians.  Their names adorn signage all over our country because – respect.  #Sayhername because from now on, you will not be able to drive down that same road, where Sandra Bland was arrested, without it.  People of all races, occupations, creeds have no choice but to say her name when they drive down Sandra Bland Parkway.

It’s not justice. So do not be placated by this.  Her story still needs to be told, correctly.  We may never know the entire truth about what happened but we do know that until the complete truth is brought to light, Sandra Bland has not received justice. But until she does.  Until she can rest peacefully.  We WILL #sayhername.

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