Skip to comments.U. NE Omaha celebrates Kwanza ("It's important to get away from fat white man bringing gifts")
Posted on 12/07/2004 7:07:51 PM PST by churchillbuff
During the holiday season, many people are so busy rushing around worrying about buying gifts, getting the best deal and running over anyone in their path that they tend to forget what they are celebrating.
On Thursday, UNO hosted its ninth annual Kwanzaa luncheon in the Milo Bail Student Center Ballroom.
Keynote speaker Saidi J. Liwaru stressed the importance of Kwanzaa as an African American holiday as well as a Pan-African holiday. Kwanzaa is a time for knowing one's roots while bettering one's culture.
Liwaru is the host of the Real Solutions television program. He said that the timing of Kwanzaa -Dec. 26 through Jan. 1- is the perfect time to connect and look what is going on around in one's environment.
It is important, "to get away from the belief of a fat white man bringing gifts to poor kids in the ghetto," Liwaru said. "Parents are lying to their kids. We're thinking of gifts. We're thinking of snow and ho-ho-ho, but (we need to get away from that). When you're celebrating Kwanzaa, you start to think of buying this child a gift that would better represent black culture."
A relatively young holiday, Kwanzaa was created in 1966 while in of the midst of African liberation and is celebrated by millions throughout the world. Its purpose is to reaffirm the community vision and values of African culture while bettering the lives of Africans. It begins with Africans in America, expanding into the global African community.
Kwanzaa comes from the philosophy of Kawaida, a cultural nationalist philosophy that argues that Africans must bring forth the best of their culture to be models of human excellence, enriching and expanding the lives of their people.
One of the misconceptions of Kwanzaa is that people must chose between Kwanzaa, Christmas and Chanukah during the season. It is very possible to celebrate Kwanzaa and Christmas at the same time. Much like one would celebrate St. Patrick's Day -an Irish cultural holiday- during Lent, one can celebrate Kwanzaa and Christmas.
Other people can celebrate it as embracing another culture. While it is focused on African and African American enrichment, Kwanzaa can benefit all people by showcasing its culture to those who do not know much about it. Just as there are large celebrations for Cinco de Mayo with many non-Mexicans, Kwanzaa is open to be appreciated by other cultures as well. There are rituals to Kwanzaa that are not meant for an audience, but rather its designated celebrants.
The holiday has a message for all peoples, but it is deeply rooted in African culture, speaking to the world.
A line from www.TheOfficialKwanzaaWebsite.com said, "Any particular message that is good for a particular people, it is human in its content and ethical in its grounding, speaks not just to that people, it speaks to the world."
The term Kwanzaa comes from the phrase, "matunda ya kwanza" which means "first fruits."
On the seventh day of Kwanzaa, -Jan. 1- a time of reflection is had. It is period of self-reflection and a recommitment to the highest cultural values in a special way. Following in the tradition, it is then time to ask and answer, soberly and humbly the three Kawaida questions: Who am I; am I really who I say I am; and am I all I ought to be?
Kwanzaa is filled with a great deal of symbolism and deep cultural connection that can only be had by seeking more information.
Liwaru is the father of Sharif Z. Liwaru, the Cultural Awareness Adviser for the Student Organizations and Leadership Programs Office. Sharif gave the opening remarks for the lunch. Jeff Epting was the host of the event. Epting is the Social Action Chair of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc.
After the keynote address, a somewhat culturally diverse audience of nearly 50 people enjoyed a meal of fried chicken, greens, cornbread, pumpkin pie and macaroni and cheese.
Following the meal, a candle lighting ceremony took place representative of Kwanzaa's seven principles: unity; self-determination; collective work and responsibility; cooperative economics; purpose; creativity; and faith.
Sharif Liwaru closed the event that brought unity amongst the African American community and allowed those of non-Africans decent a chance to learn a different culture.
I approve of that whole heartedly. But where are the support systems to bring it about? 1966 was a long time ago and I don't see any. All I see is destruction in Africa and a tendency to socialism of the kind that lines the pockets of people like Robert Mugabe. Skin color doesn't matter for much of anything. If you give bad men a sanctuary, they will own your house.
The football team.
This is a hoax! Everybody know they'd be eating sweetpotato pie! Seriously - how many Blacks are the at UNO (aside from the football and basketball team), and how many Blacks are there in Omaha?
Until the gop, or whomever, "rastles" control of our Academia and Main News Outlets, we Americans will have this phoney baloney hate-filled and DIVISIVE scar called Kwanza.
Spread the TRUTH. Teach your children the TRUTH.
"fat white man bringing gifts".
Sounds like Michael Moore, except for the bringing gifts part.
Unless you regard toe-jam and under-man-breast perspiration as gifts...
Sorry. That was even a bit much to type, never mind visualize...:(
Very enlightening and I am incensed because they celebrate this claptrap and teach it to my seven year old! Back I barge into my daughter's grade school tomorrow with a print out of this article and your remarks to show the principal. I fought him last month on Ramadan, looks like I've got a new fight. As for me, I'll take the fat white man and Jesus Christ anyday.
(sung to the tune of 'Jingle Bells')
"...Drive-by shootin 'ho's, in my '80 Chevrolet. T'ru da 'hood we goes, blastin' all da way...."
Omaha is 400,000 people, of which 13 percent are black. UNO is about 20 percent black.
What if that fat white man is the mailman bringing the welfare check?
And all they got was 50 people to turn out to this Kwanzaa celebration - and not all of them were black? Clearly, Kwanzaa hasn't caught on with most blacks -- Christmas is just fine with them, thank you.
With all of the misery and violence the black community has visited on it's own people and the city here in Omaha, this silly exercise in some invented back to Africa holiday is just the type of style over substance, changing the subject event we have come to expect from this crowd.
Debunking the myths established by him, along with those propagated by other notorious frauds, like Rigoberto Menchu, have earned him the respect of many former doubters within the conservative movement.
Is this where the term "fruits & nuts" comes from?
BTW, how many blacks live in Nebraska? I would expect they don't have many. So I doubt there is a big uproar demanding Kwanza celebrations.
If you'd stayed awake in history you would have remembered that Kansas as well as Nebraska were targets of potential Souv'rn extensions of slavery.
Soon-to-be Confederate enemies were already bringing African-Americans to the territories.
People who forget the Jayhawk Wars are doomed to repeat them!
I'm sure Nebraska has a real problem with those ghettos. ><
I guess giving a soldering iron would be considered bad taste.
>Spread the TRUTH. Teach your children the TRUTH.<
Whatever happened to the concept of the twelve days of Christmas? The retail monolith has pushed and pushed Advent, supposedly a time of reflection, out of the way and we modern Americans are deluged with HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!! as soon as Halloween can be finished.
I would love to see more cultural celebration of an extended Christmas, among Christians. This Kwanzaa thing is just one more impediment.
Strange sentiment from folks that gave Gore 90% of their vote in 2000.