Kwanzaa draws praise, criticism

Published 8:10 pm Friday, December 28, 2007

By Staff
Some people support celebration, others question, discount it
By CLAUD HODGES, Senior Reporter
When it comes to celebrating Kwanzaa, some people in the area do and others don’t.
Kwanzaa is an African-American, nonreligious holiday celebrated by millions of people worldwide.
On an annual basis, the seven-day Kwanzaa celebration starts on Dec. 26 and ends Jan. 1.
The seven principles of Kwanzaa are unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, beautification of community and belief in one another.
Kwanzaa was created by Maulana Karenga, also know as Ron Everett, in 1966 in an attempt to bring the African community together.
Idealistically, Brothers said, she would like to see all people get together and follow Kwanzaa’s principles.
She said Kwanzaa encourages African-Americans to live life to its fullest and to stay alive with Kwanzaa’s principles from day to day.
However, a Chocowinity man, Larry Bailey, is skeptical about Kwanzaa.
Bailey said Kwanzaa is not, and never has been, an African holiday.
Bailey said Kwanzaa is a black militant’s effort to offer an alternative to Christmas.
Jennifer Boyd of Belhaven thanked the Washington Daily News for printing the Dec. 26 article on Kwanzaa. Boyd said people need to know about Kwanzaa and understand why some people are attracted to its seven principles.
Boyd asked the newspaper to continue to educate people about Kwanzaa every year, saying it’s important for people to know about Kwanzaa and its message to be publicized.
Boyd said she will use some of the article’s information to teach some people at her church about Kwanzaa. She also plans to use that information to discuss Kwanzaa with people she meets through her work with the Beaufort County Boys and Girls Club.
Washington resident Otto Florschutz of Washington questions what Kwanzaa has to do with Christmas.
He said Kwanzaa is a secular celebration that introduced the Nguzo Saba — the seven principles of blackness — devised by Karenga.