I take issue with many of the things Mr.Bonjoko stated in his article (“Kwanzaa is wack, there I said it”). Reading his n-words has proved my assertion that despite how far people of African descent (black people) have advanced-including witnessing the election of America’s first black president-most folks including blacks have a very limited understanding of African (black) culture and history.
I am not all criticizing Mr.Bonjoko for his and others non support of Kwanzaa. I am, however, expressing my dissatisfaction with his repugnant and mocking analysis of a holiday that is celebrated and revered by millions everywhere.
It’s quite ironic how he mentions “I was raised on the works of Dr. John Henrik Clarke, Dr. Ivan VanSertima and Runoko Rashidi”, because it’s very obvious that he didn’t conduct thorough research before making his claims denigrating the celebration of Kwanzaa.
The scholars he mentioned have shown us the importance of having facts to back up theories and assertions.
First, to be clear, from its inception in 1966, Kwanzaa was never referred to as an “African” holiday. It is an “African-diasporic” holiday, specifically created for those of us who would be considered African-Americans.
Which would explain why as Bonjoko stated, “stuff like corn that is used in a lot of the rituals is not even native to Africa”.
When we use the term “diasporic”,— a term borrowed from the Jewish community — this is referring to the forced migration of African people throughout the world, specifically in Europe and the Americas, during the trans-Atlantic slave trade. An event which resulted in most blacks outside of Africa being virtually disconnected from all ties to Africa and its culture.
Many prominent scholars and historians have attributed the slave trade to the current inferiority complex that apparently has plagued black people-particularly in America- for well over 500 years.
Dr.Maulena Karenga and his associates in the Kawaida Movement,mostly of whom were cultural nationalists, recognized and sought to correct this by creating a holiday which they felt would reconnect Africans abroad with those on the African continent.
The reason why so many continental Africans do not celebrate Kwanzaa is because they, just as in the case of Africans in America, have been the victims of a misinformation campaign that has been waged against African people for well over five centuries. Something that Bonjoko didn’t point out or was unaware of.
He went to claim, “The only people I see really on some Kwanzaa ‘ish’ are the hardcore revolutionary types you might find at the Berkeley flea market selling incense and shea butter soap..”
“It appears as though the only other people who might celebrate it are East coast college types who still work on a University campus. But I’m not even sure that’s accurate.”, he continued.
Mr.Bonjoko, you’re actually right, that’s not accurate. Obviously you have not traveled much, because every year Kwanzaa celebrations are held in schools, colleges, churches, malls, as well as other venues across America and the World.
And as quiet as it’s kept you have a few white folks who celebrate it as well.
So you comparing Kwanzaa to a hair weave that “ain’t real” as you put it is a ridiculous claim.
You say, “Look, I love Africa and what it means to be black. I love almost everything African (aside from the tribal fighting and the needless murder and rape of women across the continent)”. Wow, really?
If this be the case why would you be castigating a black scholar and a holiday that was created to benefit black people? And another point to keep in mind, tribal wars, murder and rape are not solely unique to Africa.
He claimed that, “Kwanzaa was created by an FBI informant named Dr.Maulena Karenga. Straight up! That’s an actual fact.” According to whom? You didn’t name any concrete sources to substantiate this accusation.
And what type of “social experiment” would the FBI be doing on black people with Kwanzaa as you implied?
If him being a government informant is true, what about others in the black community who were accused of the same thing?
Rev.Al Sharpton was also accused of being a former government informant. If either of these men is in fact guilty of being “snitches”, does this at all take away from the good work that they have tirelessly donated to the black community?
What have you done greater than or equal to what these men have established?