Wednesday, December 27, 2006


I have a confession: I am not black. And nobody in my family is black. So I have no qualifications for discussing Kwanzaa.

However, I am a reporter, which means I'm very experienced at talking about things which I know nothing. So here goes...

Kwanzaa can be celebrated as a community, but it is frequently celebrated in families - hence the coverage here. It begins after Christmas and runs for seven days, with a different principle featured each night. I love this idea and the principles are well-worth contemplating:
Night 1: Unity
Night 2: Self-determination
Night 3: Collective work and responsibility
Night 4: Cooperative economics
Night 5: Purpose
Night 6: Creativity
Night 7: Faith

eHow offers a great guide for Kwanzaa, with tips for celebrating, decorating, and Kwanzaa for kids. Wikipedia explains the history of Kwanzaa, noting that this holiday is celebrated almost exclusively in the U.S. You can also read some of the criticisms of the holiday on Wikipedia. Kwanzaa apparently upsets some people - but then again, some people are just easily upset. I like what this blog - on - has to say about it.

There are lots of online crafts that children can do - or adults can do and pretend their children are doing them - if you're into that kind of thing. Obviously, I am not. So I found this much more practical and educational list for ways families with chidlren can mark the holiday.

If you're curious about whether or not it's appropriate to celebrate Kwanzaa if you're not an African American, here's what the Official Kwanzaa site says: Maybe - it depends. You can read it for yourself if you want details.

For more information about Kwanzaa, visit the Official Kwanzaa site or the MelaNet Kwanzaa Information Center

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