JJ Townsend


Half Century of Kwanzaa

This post was migrated The 50th anniversary of Kwanzaa brings added focus and reflection on the legacies left and the people who made and left them for us and the world. We should ask ourselves, what is the way forward in the struggle to forge a future responsive to our needs and interests as well as those of the world? How do we commit ourselves to our highest values, to our most anchoring, elevating and liberating practices, and as ever to the good of our people and the well-being of the world? 

At this historical milestone, it is good to remember and reflect on the origins of Kwanzaa, not only in the ancient African festivals of harvest and shared good, but also its origins in the relentless and righteous struggles of the 60s. This time is clearly a celebration of family, community and culture, but it is also a celebration of freedom, an act of freedom and an instrument to freedom. It is an act of freedom in its recovery and reconstruction of African culture, our return to its best values and practices and our resistance to the imposition of Eurocentric ways of understanding and engaging the world. It was also conceived as an instrument of struggle, to raise and cultivate the consciousness of the people, to unite them around principles that anchored and elevated their lives and involve them in the struggle to be themselves and free themselves and build the just and good world we all want, work for and deserve.

And in these times of winter storms and worst weather to come, let us find in the celebration of Kwanzaa remembrance, reflection, and recommitment which speaks to our constant striving and struggle to bring sustain good in the world. For in a real sense, the history of Kwanzaa mirrors the history of our people, striving ever upward, refusing to be diverted, dispirited or defeated. And we have reached a crossroads where we need to draw upon all our inner strength, hold the line and not yield an inch or iota to evil and injustice anywhere. 

This post was migrated and revised from Ebony

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