I usually make a HUGE fuss about Kwanzaa annually, posting a lengthy diatribe each day encouraging people to take the time to learn about This holiday and foster its principles year round, but I’m happy to report I was living the principles of Kwanzaa so whole heartedly this year that I was simply too busy to log in daily and encourage you to do the same!
But I wanted to take time out and leave you all some food for thought in reference to holidays and our relationship to them as members of the Black/African Diaspora, especially in the wake of such a tumultuous year for Black lives and the racial realities of existing in Black and Brown bodies, especially as members of marginalized groups such as women, children, lgtbq community members and the impoverished, (the attack on our men and boys goes without saying due to the focus we give it.)
In short if we’re going to put anything first it should be ourselves. I think it’s ludicrous that we buy our children thousands of dollars worth of Christmas gifts but can’t name the 7 principles of Kwanzaa. I think it’s terrible that the Black church as a whole seems to be waiting on the rapture for justice instead of using the gifts and talents the most high blessed us with to effect change RIGHT NOW.
I think it’s shameful that many people from all walks of life have allowed the unfortunate demise of two nypd officers at the hands of a clearly unstable man to discredit a necessary, global, peaceful movement against racialized brutality and state sanctioned oppression as if those two lives make up for or justify the millions lost in the consistent genocide of POC in various ways throughout history, on a global scale.
I’m loving the energy and momentum being gathered by protests, die ins, talks of economic boycotts and the growing ‘cop watch’ movement, but we can’t simply be revolutionaries online nor can we only have these conversations with people we know will agree. We also can’t allow the momentum and national traction and pressure being applied to the judicial system to ease up or fade out.
I just want everyone to be more mindful of their individual efforts to help the struggle, because everything is political, and it starts with us. How will you improve yourself? Your family? Your community? For the greater good. That’s the question for us all in 2015.
I think 2014 has proven we all we got in the grand scheme of things. We still have a long way to go and a lot of conversations to delve deeper into. The womanizing has to stop. The homophobia has to stop. The thinking we’re better than our sisters because our hair is natural and our skirts are longer has to stop. The religious and political ideological division has to stop. The dark skin/ light skin bullshit has to stop. We allow these things to destroy the power of our sheer numbers across the world by separating ourselves from one another.
I fear in 2015 we will still be on that bullshit instead of working toward this revolution. I know plenty of like minded individuals but I know far more who only get political online, if at all, and continue business as usual throughout their daily lives.
It’s time for neighborhood/ cop watch, community farms, shopping locally, investment groups, calling our local elected officials with grievances, voting, exercising, saving, communicating inter generationally and across the boundaries we use to cut one another off so we can build black owned and operated department stores and dentist offices and farmers markets.
In 2015 I want you to all hold one another accountable. Our kids, our men, our women, our schools, our communities are in our hands no matter how the deck is stacked against us or how many forces of negativity and ignorance we have to fight to ensure safe and healthy lives for our people.
You’re either going to be a part of the problem or the solution in 2015. There is no grey area.
The time is now.