8 Responses

  1. Paul at |

    “Kwanzaa has the express intention of being a celebration that brings people together”

    Sorry but I have never seen white people celebrating Kwanzaa.

    I believe It is intended to celebrate the African American experience.

    Not that there is anything wrong with that.

    Karenga was influenced in the creation of his ethos for Us by Malcolm X.

    “Malcolm was the major African American thinker that influenced me in terms of nationalism and Pan-Africanism. As you know, towards the end, when Malcolm is expanding his concept of Islam, and of nationalism, he stresses Pan-Africanism in a particular way. And he argues that, and this is where we have the whole idea that cultural revolution and the need for revolution, he argues that we need a cultural revolution, he argues that we must return to Africa culturally and spiritually, even if we can’t go physically. And so that’s a tremendous impact on US. And US saw it, when I founded it, as the sons and daughters of Malcolm, and as an heir to his legacy.” —Maulana Karenga

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  2. A BiPolar Guy at |

    #1 misconception – that anyone really celebrates this. A very small percentage of the US african american population does, but it never caught on and probably never will. It IS “made up” in the sense that real holidays grow out of a culture “organically”. Nobody sat down and designed them. e.g christmas.
    Romans had evolved a “saturnalia” holiday (from roman god Saturn) at the winter solstice. As christianly took hold, the people liked the holiday but the beliefs behind it no longer held so the church promoted the idea of celebrating christ birth at this time. Not previously done much which is why we don’t know when he was really born. Note they did not create a new holiday, they just built on one. Over the centuries new traditions evolved around it some related to christianity others more imported and repurposed. Finally some mostly secular traditions like Santa Clause, father christmas etc formed in the last few centuries.

    The holiday grew and changed bit by bit, not dropped full grown on a culture that had little interest in it.

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  3. Mr.Nick at |

    Absolutely horrible ignorant list… FACT: Karenga is a convicted torturer, FACT: Karenga is renowned militant black-National Socialist and the founder of “US”.

    Go read Karenga’s own words on his alleged holiday and you will find out what Kwanzaa is all about. Its about hating whites and celebrating Black National Socialism. Its astounding how society accepts this racist Kwanzaa nonsense for PC reasons..

    I’m sure people would be offended if David Duke created a holiday and people actually celebrated it, the same can be said about Hitler… In reality there is no difference between Hitler, Duke or Karenga.

    So whoever is celebrating this holiday is ignorant to it – or is celebrating it to embrace Karenga’s socialeconomic ideas…

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    1. TopTenz Master at |

      Reading your comment disturbed me so I did some research as well and found this: http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview/id/446088.html. I do think you are going a bit overboard comparing Karenga to Hitler but everyone is entitled to his opinion. Perhaps the author of this list can give his opinions on this?

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      1. Mr.Nick at |

        Well, Ron Karenga is not Hitler, nor did he have Hitlers power per se, however their socioeconomic ideologies are practically identical. I compare Ron Karenga to Hitler because he was not a garden variety Marxist but rather a National Socialist, as a matter of fact, he was a national socialist out of opposition to the Black Panther Party.

        However he did – in fact – torture a couple of woman at his home in 1972, and what he did to those woman is extremely scary and extremely disturbing..

        There should be no holiday celebrated that this lunatic manifested.. And Kwanzaa is deeply political and deeply racial so I have no idea how the author of this list attempted to imply those two ideas, er facts are myth.

        It would take little more than a half hour of research for anyone to confirm what I just asserted.

        Oh, and to make it even worse this crackpot is teaching at the university level — hes tenured to boot.

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      2. I'm an individual at |

        I agree that this day was instigated because of hatred of whites and our culture. If someone wants to celebrate their culture then that’s great. But everyone knows kwanzaa was started as an “up yours” to whites. I’ve travelled the world many times and I can tell you every non-white race I have meet are far more racist than whites, but we are expected to carry a guilty burden. Just reminding people that racism is a two-way street and being a minority doesn’t protect anyone from critisism.

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  4. Dan at |

    I likewise with the other commenter agree that it IS made up. And that much of this list is amazingly biased and definitely far below the usual unbiased veracity of Listverse.

    It’s made up in the same sense that conlangs are made up. No one spoke Esperanto until someone designed it, no one celebrated Kwanzaa until someone… made it up one day.

    Every other significant cultural holiday came organically from a combination of cultural and social forces, no one built it. That means that oftentimes they are less coherent yes.

    So Kwanzaa is made up, but that shouldn’t necessarily make it worth any less. Th

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  5. keithmteleman at |

    My African-Americans acquaintances have laughed at me when I asked about celebrating Kwanzaa. I have the accoutrements and have read to prepare for a celebration. (I’m a biracial person from a “white, of course” family that forgot its African ancestry, calling it “Indian” and carefully rearranging the facts.)

    Ultimately, it all seems like a studied response to a frayed culture. African traditions, which would have been diverse, being lost, are hammered into a framework that simplifies things and pushes a prescriptive agenda. The “celebratory” process feels like a remedial six-step group-therapy program that simplistically works at abstract community principles.

    Is this really the way to regain a sense of African traditions and roots, celebrate common values, and have fun? It feels like a community college exercise that’s well-intended but simply too external to be real.

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