Kwanzaa is a week-long celebration of African heritage and is observed from December 26th to January 1st. It has seven core principles (Nguzo Saba) and was created by Dr. Maulana Karenga. It was first celebrated in 1966.
Why are we so afraid to reclaim our African identity?
Growing up within a black community the topic of whether Caribbean people originated from Africa was quite common amongst my primary school peers.
I can still hear the dramatic outcries of the Caribbean students protesting against what they felt to be an absolute insult because after all Africans were just “a charity case of uncivilised poor black people.” This was a racially negative stereotype that was constantly being portrayed within the media. It’s quite to safe to say our knowledge of Africa was extremely limited and we were in fact ignorant on the topic of African history and culture which I believe many black people still are today.
I believe one step to resolve this issue would be to start teaching the younger generation true African history and traditions such as Kwanzaa. What is not encouraging is finding out the history teaching in schools are going against this idea according to Phil Gregory in an article called Black British History Must Feature Throughout the School Curriculum.
“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.”
― Marcus Garvey (The father of Pan-Africanism)
(Authored by a member of young roots)