Happy Kwanzaa – Season’s Greetings!

kwa 2013Happy Hump Day, All!

Well, I don’t know about you but I certainly had a wonderful Christmas Day Celebration, y’all! It is something I like to do each year, just to get ready for the coming year and to set my spiritual bearings straight. My plans were to visit my good friend, Peter Zachary, and his family as I have done for the past 10 years or so … especially since my mother passed away. Then, after the NBA Christmas Day Schedule was nearly over with the game between the Miami HEAT and the Oklahoma Thunder, I was planning to drive to Port St. Lucie, FL to visit my sister … Hmmmm …

As it turned out, I had so much to eat at Peter’s house while we watched the Lakers beat the New York Knicks; then, the Celtics showed the Brooklyn Nets that they aren’t too old to play on Christmas Day … and win; and finally for me, to watch the HEAT quiet down the Thunder in a very close and physical game; I was so stuffed and content that I decided to skip the nearly 2 hour drive to my sister’s house. So, I text her to let her know what my change in plans were and that I was going home to rest. She was cool, and told me to drive safely! I have taken one of my last vacation days today so I will tie up lose ends, lounge a bit and celebrate the first day of Kwanzaa!

Over the past ten years or so, Kwanzaa has become part of the African American experience to acknowledge several principles of community building and perseverance that has been desperately needed in general in the African American communities here in this country. The candles used to symbolize each day which highlights a particular value like “Umoja”, are red, black and green and are set up on a similar structure as the “menorah” for Chanukah. Each day a candle is lit and the family members engage in arts & crafts to celebrate that particular value, foods and fruits are consumed, and there usually is an elder who takes responsibility for reading a “passage” to emphasize that particular value. Kwanzaa begins on December 26th and ends on January 1st.

May you continue to enjoy these Holidays, embrace the diversity set forth in them, and be at peace with one another!


John I. Cook, Director

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