Happy Kwanzaa

Happy Monday all …. yes, of course, and officially, “Happy Kwanzaa”!

One of the most important things I learned about enjoying and maximizing opportunities in life is being culturally diverse. Now, I must admit that I was the kid at a private boarding school who wore black nylon socks when I ran track and felt an affinity with the track stars of that era who, upon winning the 200 meter run in the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City raised their black gloved clenched fist after receiving their medals to symbolize their pride in being African American and in support of the Civil Rights Movement. They were Tommie Smith and John Carlos who were later punished for that act of pride. In particular, Spanish fascinated me too back then since I was a kid growing up in The Projects and I also played trombone in the band and the orchestra in elementary school and jr. high school. I often stress to the youth today to diversify their school activities.

I remember some years back when first coming to South Florida, my sister and her peers in “The Sisterhood” had invited me to my first Kwanzaa Celebration. It was a wonderful display of traditional African garb, culturally diverse cuisine with an emphasis on typical African food and fruits, story telling in the griot style, not to mention a plethora of African music and dance, song and poetry! One can consult their community organizations for Kwanzaa activities in local libraries and museums as there are many here in Broward County.

Yes, indeed, so in conclusion today, I am suspecting that many of us had a nice Christmas Day yesterday as I did with a good friend, Peter Zachary and his family, and called my sister two times as well as wished as many friends as I could a Merry Christmas. One of the highlights in addition to some quiet time I spent in the morning “home alone” listening to Christmas music and remembering and honoring my parents for their love in teaching me and our family about the true meaning of Christmas was watching basketball on television. Two of my favorite teams – the New York Knicks who pulled out a tight one against arch rival Boston Celtics; and the Miami Heat who trounced a different Dallas team than last year’s NBA Champions – win as the NBA once again … is back in session.

Have a wonderful day and start getting those New Year’s Resolution’s in order!

Peace,

John I. Cook, Director

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