Kwanzaa 2014


itisme

Pic2_001

 

It is December, which means it will soon be time for the most under-celebrated holiday ever known to man: Kwanzaa! I know what you’re thinking. Who the hell celebrates Kwanzaa? These seven principles comprise Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (Self-Determination), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity), Imani (Faith)

 

Time for Kwanzaa! Hello?

 

Kwanzaa celebration with its founder, Maulana Karenga, and others

Kwanzaa celebration with its founder, Maulana Karenga, and others

Kwanzaa

Kwanzaa is a week-long celebration held in the United States and also celebrated in the Western African Diaspora in other nations of the Americas. The celebration honors African heritage in African-American culture, and is observed from December 26 to January 1, culminating in a feast and gift-giving. Kwanzaa has seven core principles (Nguzo Saba). It was created by Maulana Karenga, and was first celebrated in 1966–67.

 

History and etymology

Maulana Karenga created Kwanzaa in 1965 as the first specifically African-American holiday. According to Karenga, the name Kwanzaa derives from the Swahili phrase matunda ya kwanza, meaning “first fruits of the harvest”. The choice of Swahili, an East African language, reflects its status as a symbol of Pan-Africanism, especially in the 1960s, although most East African nations were not involved in the Atlantic slave trade that brought African people to America.

 

Kwanzaa is a celebration that has its roots in the black nationalist movement of the 1960s, and was established as a means to help African Americans reconnect with their African cultural and historical heritage by uniting in meditation and study of African traditions and Nguzo Saba, the “seven principles of African Heritage” which Karenga said “is a communitarian African philosophy”.

 

During the early years of Kwanzaa, Karenga said that it was meant to be an “oppositional alternative” to Christmas. However, as Kwanzaa gained mainstream adherents, Karenga altered his position so that practicing Christians would not be alienated, then stating in the 1997 Kwanzaa: A Celebration of Family, Community, and Culture, “Kwanzaa was not created to give people an alternative to their own religion or religious holiday.”

 

Many African Americans who celebrate Kwanzaa do so in addition to observing Christmas.

 

Principles and symbols

Kwanzaa celebrates what its founder called the seven principles of Kwanzaa, or Nguzo Saba (originally Nguzu Saba—the seven principles of African Heritage), which Karenga said “is a communitarian African philosophy,” consisting of what Karenga called “the best of African thought and practice in constant exchange with the world.” These seven principles comprise *Kawaida, a Swahili term for tradition and reason. Each of the seven days of Kwanzaa is dedicated to one of the following principles, as follows:

 

  • Umoja (Unity): To strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.
  • Kujichagulia (Self-Determination): To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves.
  • Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility): To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers’ and sisters’ problems our problems, and to solve them together.
  • Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics): To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.
  • Nia (Purpose): To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
  • Kuumba (Creativity): 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.
  • Imani (Faith): To believe with all our hearts in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

 

Kwanzaa symbols include a decorative mat (Mkeka) on which other symbols are placed, corn (Muhindi) and other crops, a candle holder kinara with seven candles (Mishumaa Saba), a communal cup for pouring libation (Kikombe cha Umoja), gifts (Zawadi), a poster of the seven principles, and a black, red, and green flag. The symbols were designed to convey the seven principles.

 

Observance

A woman lighting kinara candles

A woman lighting kinara candles

Families celebrating Kwanzaa decorate their households with objects of art; colorful African cloth such as kente, especially the wearing of kaftans by women; and fresh fruits that represent African idealism. It is customary to include children in Kwanzaa ceremonies and to give respect and gratitude to ancestors. Libations are shared, generally with a common chalice,Kikombe cha Umoja, passed around to all celebrants. Non-African Americans also celebrate Kwanzaa. The holiday greeting is “Joyous Kwanzaa”.

 

A Kwanzaa ceremony may include drumming and musical selections, libations, a reading of the African Pledge and the Principles of Blackness, reflection on the Pan-African colors, a discussion of the African principle of the day or a chapter in African history, a candle-lighting ritual, artistic performance, and, finally, a feast (karamu). The greeting for each day of Kwanzaa is Habari Gani which is Swahili for “What’s the News?”

 

At first, observers of Kwanzaa avoided the mixing of the holiday or its symbols, values, and practice with other holidays, as doing so would violate the principle of kujichagulia (self-determination) and thus violate the integrity of the holiday, which is partially intended as a reclamation of important African values. Today, many African American families celebrate Kwanzaa along with Christmas and New Year’s. Frequently, both Christmas trees and kinaras, the traditional candle holder symbolic of African American roots, share space in Kwanzaa-celebrating households. For people who celebrate both holidays, Kwanzaa is an opportunity to incorporate elements of their particular ethnic heritage into holiday observances and celebrations of Christmas.

 

Cultural exhibitions include the Spirit of Kwanzaa, an annual celebration held at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts featuring interpretive dance, African dance, song and poetry.

 

The holiday has also spread to Canada, and is celebrated by Black Canadians in a similar fashion as in the United States.

 

Popularity

In 2004, BIG Research conducted a marketing survey in the United States for the National Retail Foundation, which found that 1.6% of those surveyed planned to celebrate Kwanzaa. If generalized to the US population as a whole, this would imply that around 4.7 million people planned to celebrate Kwanzaa in that year. In a 2006 speech, Ron Karenga asserted that 28 million people celebrate Kwanzaa. He has always claimed it is celebrated all over the world. Lee D. Baker puts the number at 12 million. The African American Cultural Center claimed 30 million in 2009. In 2011, Keith Mayes said that 2 million people participated in Kwanzaa.

 

According to University of Minnesota Professor Keith Mayes, the author of Kwanzaa: Black Power and the Making of the African-American Holiday Tradition,the popularity within the US has “leveled off” as the black power movement there has declined, and now between half and two million people celebrate Kwanzaa in the US, or between one and five percent of African Americans. Mayes adds that white institutions now celebrate it.

 

The holiday has also spread to Canada, and is celebrated by Black Canadians in a similar fashion as in the United States. According to the Language Portal of Canada, “this fairly new tradition has [also] gained in popularity in France, Great Britain, Jamaica and Brazil”, although this information has not been confirmed with authoritative sources from these countries.

 

In Brazil, in recent years the term Kwanzaa has been applied by a few institutions as a synonym for the festivities of the Black Awareness Day, commemorated on November 20 in honor of Zumbi dos Palmares, having little to do with the celebration as it was originally conceived.

 

In 2009, Maya Angelou narrated the documentary The Black Candle, a film about Kwanzaa.

 

The Black Candle A Kwanzaa Celebration

Published on Feb 10, 2013

The Black Candle is a landmark, vibrant documentary film that uses Kwanzaa as a vehicle to explore and celebrate the African-American experience.

 

 

Screenshot (2603)

 

2014 Theme: “Practicing the Culture of Kwanzaa: Living The Seven Principles”

 

THE
OFFICIAL KWANZAA
WEBSITE

The Founder’s Welcome
Dr. Maulana Karenga

 

As an African American and Pan-African holiday celebrated by millions throughout the world African community, Kwanzaa brings a cultural message which speaks to the best of what it means to be African and human in the fullest sense. Given the profound significance Kwanzaa has for African Americans and indeed, the world African community, it is imperative that an authoritative source and site be made available to give an accurate and expansive account of its origins, concepts, values, symbols and practice.

 

Moreover, given the continued rapid growth of Kwanzaa and the parallel expanded discussion of it and related issues, an authoritative source which aids in both framing and informing the discussion is likewise of the greatest importance. Therefore, the central interest of this website is to provide information which reveals and reaffirms the integrity, beauty and expansive meaning of the holiday and thus aids in our approaching it with the depth of thought, dignity, and sense of specialness it deserves.

The holiday, then will of necessity, be engaged as an ancient and living cultural tradition which reflects the best of African thought and practice in its reaffirmation of the dignity of the human person in community and culture, the well-being of family and community, the integrity of the environment and our kinship with it, and the rich resource and meaning of a people’s culture. It is within this understanding, then, that the Organization Us, the founding organization of Kwanzaa and the authoritative keeper of the tradition, has established and maintains this website.

 

THE OFFICIAL KWANZAA WEBSITE

 

Screenshot (2603)

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

486750977_640 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!000000000000000000obama-forward3

TheObamaCrat™ Wake-Up Call For Friday The 6th Of December. 19 Days Left Until You Are Broke.


 

By Jueseppi B.

187

 

 

White House Schedule – December 6th, 2013

 

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 6th, 2013

 

DAILY GUIDANCE AND SCHEDULE FOR
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 6th, 2013

 

In the morning, the President receives the Presidential Daily Briefing in the Oval Office. This meeting is closed press. In the evening, the First Family will attend the National Christmas Tree Lighting on the Ellipse. The President will deliver remarks. This event is open to pre-credentialed media.

 

Friday, December 6 2013 All Times ET

 

12:15 AM: The Vice President delivers remarks on the U.S.- Korea partnership and U.S. policy in the Asia-Pacific, Yonsei University.

 

 

2:00 AM: The Vice President meets with Prime Minister Chung Hongwon, Prime Minister’s Office.

 

 

9:45 AM: The President receives the Presidential Daily Briefing, Oval Office.

 

 

1:00 PM: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney, The Brady Briefing Room.

 

 

5:00 PM: The First Family attends the National Christmas Tree Lighting; The President delivers remarks, The Ellipse.

 

 

Detailed Press Information:

 

In-Town

Pool Call Time: 9:00 AM
Wires:  AP, Reuters, Bloomberg
Wire Photos: AP, Reuters, AFP
TV Corr & Crew: ABC
Print: Washington Times
Radio: NPR
402528_176619879142958_864642698_n
obamacratvideolibrary
402528_176619879142958_864642698_n

President Obama Speaks at an Evening Hanukkah Reception

December 05, 2013 | 11:20 |Public Domain

 

As the Festival of Lights draws to a close this year, President Obama suggests taking one last chance to think about all the miracles big and small that we’ve been lucky enough to experience in our own lives.

 

 

 

President Obama Speaks at an Afternoon Hanukkah Reception

December 05, 2013 | 9:02 |Public Domain

 

As the Festival of Lights draws to a close this year, President Obama suggests taking one last chance to think about all the miracles big and small that we’ve been lucky enough to experience in our own lives.

 

 

 

 

President Obama Speaks on the Death of Nelson Mandela

December 05, 2013 | 4:37 |Public Domain

 

President Obama says that Nelson Mandela’s journey from a prisoner to President embodied the promise that human beings, and countries, can change for the better, and asks that we pause and give thanks for the fact that Mandela lived — a man who took history in his hands, and bent the arc of the moral universe toward justice.

 

 

 

West Wing Week 12/06/13 or, “Olde English”

December 05, 2013 | 4:39 |Public Domain

 

Welcome to the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that’s happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. This week, the President spoke on the importance of addressing economic mobility and supporting implementation of the Affordable Care Act, visited fasting immigration reform activists, marked World AIDS Day, celebrated Hanukkah, and visited a local bookstore for Small Business Saturday. That’s November 29th to December 5th or, “Olde English

 

 

 

Press Briefing

December 05, 2013 | 01:02:01| Public Domain

 

White House Press Briefings are conducted most weekdays from the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room in the West Wing.

 

 

 

 

barackseal

Speeches and Remarks December 05, 2013

 

Remarks by the President at Afternoon Hanukkah Reception

 

Remarks by the Vice President at a Breakfast with the American Chamber of Commerce in Beijing and the U.S.-China Business Council

 

 

Statements and Releases December 05, 2013

 

Statement by National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice, on the Death of Nelson Mandela of South Africa

 

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts

 

Statement by the President on the Death of Nelson Mandela

 

Statement by the Press Secretary on the Central African Republic

 

FACT SHEET: Attracting Manufacturing Investment in American Communities

 

FACT SHEET: Presidential Memorandum on Federal Leadership on Energy Management

 

NEW REPORT: The Economic Benefits Of Extending Unemployment Insurance

 

Joint Fact Sheet on Strengthening U.S.-China Economic Relations

 

U.S. Fact Sheet on Strengthening U.S.-China Economic Relations

 

 

402528_176619879142958_864642698_n

Ask Vice President Biden and Cecilia Muñoz Your Questions About Immigration Reform

 

From the Archives: Hanukkah at the White House

 

It Shouldn’t Have Happened to Me, But It Did

 

2013 White House Holidays

 

First Lady Michelle Obama Previews the 2013 White House Holiday Decor

 

White House Youth Summit: Making Sure People Have the Information They Need to #GetCovered

 

 

Let us pause and give thanks for the fact that Nelson Mandela lived — President Barack Hussein Obama (@BarackObama) 

 

BawLA9cCUAAJRD1

BawTSKcIQAAXefR

The President watching coverage of the passing of Nelson "Madiba" Mandela, Former South African President

The President watching coverage of the passing of Nelson “Madiba” Mandela, Former South African President

BawT-lRCEAEAS-b

BaxPQyFIgAAapzg

Locals stroll past a mural, outside the house former President Nelson Mandela stayed in the 1940s, in Alexandra township

BazYPEzIEAA7vtK

mandela-_2523040b

unnamed (1)

Young Mandela Africa Fighting

unnamed

 

blogger4peacelogo obamabottomheader

My Picks For 2012′s Most Influential Blogs…Part Deux


By Jueseppi B.

 

120412-Giftees-Winners-Banner

 

 

 

Yesterday I got the idea for My Picks For 2012′s Most Influential Blogs after visiting the blog of  The Blissful Adventurer. He has a post on his amazing blog entitled “The Most Influential Blogs of 2012“. And I thought what a wonderful idea.

 

I posted my version of 2012′s Most Influential Blogs and it was chock full of the blogs I find inspirational and informative. Wouldn’t you know it, because I’m 175 years old and starting to get senile, I missed a few of my favorite bloggers and their blogs.

 

So here we are at 2012′s Most Influential Blogs Part Deux!!

 

The Rules:

There are no rules for this award except you MUST pay it forward, and that means, sometime in the next 6 months, you “should” chose the blogs you deem worthy of your label of The Most Influential Blog Of 2012, to you.

That’s it. Only rule.

 

Now For MY Most Influential Blogs Of 2012:

Each blog chosen by me, has in some small or huge way influenced me in some way, be it by inspiration or by information.

 

cbcburke9

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
The Light – Bearer

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I do sincerely hope I didn’t forget anyone this time, if I did forget somebody……I apologize ahead of time.
 
 
 

Since this is NOT an award, there is no guilt associated with accepting. Just enjoy.

 

I wish all the blogs and their owners & families a wonderfully joyous KwanzaaChristmas & Hanukkah & a healthy, happy & prosperous New Year.

 

 

holiday-stockings

 

 

 

 

 

bottomlogo

My Picks For 2012’s Most Influential Blogs


By Jueseppi B.

 


120412-Giftees-Winners-Banner

 

 

 

I got this idea from The Blissful Adventurer. He has a post on his amazing blog entitled “The Most Influential Blogs of 2012“.

 

I was thinking, it would be cool if I chose the blogs I thought were The Most Influential Blogs Of 2012…so here goes:

 

 

The Rules:

There are no rules for this award except you MUST pay it forward, and that means, sometime in the next 6 months, you “should” chose the blogs you deem worthy of your label of The Most Influential Blog Of 2012, to you.

That’s it. Only rule.

 

 

Now For MY Most Influential Blogs Of 2012:

Each blog chosen by me, has in some small or huge way influenced me in some way, be it by inspiration or by information.

 

 

The White House Blog

 

Bell Book Candle

 

sharing me myself and i

 

TheBrabbleRabble

 

THROUGH THE HEALING LENS

 

Things My Belly Likes

 

Motley News and Photos

 

The Fifth Column

 

The Obama Diary 

 

3CHICSPOLITICO

 

Allison Grayhurst

 

Writing Between the Lines

 

Jazfagan

 

faithandmeow

 

Thoughts from the Outdoors

 

dailymomprayers

 

allaboutlemon

 

angrymanspeaks

 

♡ The Tale Of My Heart ♡

 

CADESERTVOICE

 

CANVASS 44

 

Cut N Edge Cartoons

 

The Educability of Perch

 

idealisticrebel

 

Silently Heard Once

 

Tracie Louise Photography

 

Silver Poetry

 

 

Since this is NOT an award, there is no guilt associated with accepting. Just enjoy.

 

I wish all the blogs and their owners & families a wonderfully joyous Kwanzaa, Christmas & Hanukkah & a healthy, happy & prosperous New Year.

 

 

holiday-stockings

 

 

 

 

 

bottomlogo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrating Hanukkah At Barack’s House


By Jueseppi B.

 

BaracksHouse2

 

 

 

Hanukkah at the White House

 

 

p121312ps-07611

President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Rabbi Larry Bazer participate in the Menorah lighting during the Hanukkah reception in the Grand Foyer of the White House, Dec. 13, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

 

 

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama welcomed friends and leaders from the Jewish community last week to celebrate the sixth night of Hanukkah. In his remarks, the President remembered the enduring story of resilience and optimism that is the essence of this holiday.

 

 

Hanukkah at the White House 2012

 

Published on Dec 13, 2012

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama celebrate Hanukkah with a reception at the White House. December 13, 2012.

 

 

 

 

 

The 90-year-old menorah used in the ceremony came from the Temple Israel synagogue in Long Beach, New York, which was badly damaged by Hurricane Sandy. It served as a symbol of perseverance, and as a reminder of those who are still recovering from Sandy’s destruction.

 

 

Find out more about last week’s Hanukkah celebration at the White House.

 

 

Here are some of the top stories from the White House blog:

 

Resources for Parents and Schools After Connecticut Tragedy
Following Friday’s shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, CT, the Department of Education has provided a number of resources to help parents in the wake of traumatic events, as well as a host of resources to help schools prepare for and recover from crisis.

 

Today’s Schedule

 

10:15 AM: The President receives the Presidential Daily Briefing.

 

 

12:30 PM: Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney.

 

 

 

4:35 PM: The President meets with Secretary of Defense Panetta.

 

 

 

Statements and Releases

 

 

December 18, 2012

Statement by Press Secretary Jay Carney

 

 

December 17, 2012

Readout of the President’s Call with Liberal Democratic Party President Shinzo Abe of Japan

 

 

 

December 17, 2012

Statement by the President on the Passing of Senator Daniel Inouye

 

 

 

December 17, 2012

Presidential Nominations Sent to the Senate

 

 

 

Please consider joining the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

 

Connecticut Shooting: Sandy Hook Elementary Teacher Kaitlin Roig Protected Her Students

 

 

 

 

 

facebook

 

 

 

 

 

bottomlogo

 

 

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 269,234 other followers

%d bloggers like this: