Why We Won’t Celebrate Kwanzaa

kwanzaa image

I feel like as a transracial/transcultural family we need to be made aware of everything that may pertain to our family.

The history of Kwanzaa had never crossed my mind until I saw in ad in a magazine for a kinara and other Kwanzaa related merchandise. I love celebrating almost anything…I assumed I would probably like Kwanzaa, too.

I thought I would look into this “Pan-African” holiday! Afterall, my favorite American Doll®, Addy, placed in the civil war era, celebrated Kwanzaa. There has to be some good historical background to this “holiday”…right?

Well, not really…

First, I realized none of my African friends were aware of Kwanzaa. However, the Official Kwanzaa Website says this: “Kwanzaa brings a cultural message which speaks to the best of what it means to be African and human in the fullest sense.” Hmm….

Here is a quote about the non-African origins of Kwanzaa by creator Dr. Maulana Karenga:

 “…I did not mean to suggest in any way that Kwanzaa was a continental African holiday rather than Afro-American one.  On the contrary.  I have always stressed that although Kwanzaa has some historical roots in Africa, it is essentially a product of the particular social conditions and self-determined needs of the Afro-American people.”

Kwanzaa: origin, concepts, practice. Dec. 1977:

There seems to be a little bit of confusion, for most Americans, in understanding the true origins of Kwanzaa. Everyone I’ve spoken with regarding the true roots of Kwanzaa believe the celebration was created from a true holiday originating from the continent of Africa. This is simply not so.

Okay, so it was created completely in America. So what?

I moved on and started researching why Kwanzaa was created. It seems to have been created as a sort of replacement for Christmas because it “gives Blacks an opportunity to celebrate themselves and history rather than simply imitate the practice of the dominant society.” -source

Kwanzaa had still not totally lost me; I went on to read Kwanzaa: A Celebration of Family, Community and Culture. As a Christian, reading the views on God put the nail in the proverbial coffin for me. It is not just a hint of anti-faith doctrine, that is pretty much the foundation of the secular festival. 

I think it is fine if people want to celebrate Kwanzaa, if it means celebrating unity, love, and whatever else it represents to you. I say go for it.

However, Brian and I feel Kwanzaa and its origins do not align with who we are as a family. So, we’re skipping this one.

I lieu of Kwanzaa we will be focusing on educating our children about and celebrating observed holidays in the continent of Africa as well as other cultures around the world. A GREAT source of information on this is kidworldcitizen.org.



On a weird side note: Creator of Kwanzaa, Maulana Karenga, is a convicted felon. He was convicted of torturing a woman with a hot iron.

Tags assigned to this article:
Jamie GrumetJamie Lynne Grumetkwanzaa

Related Articles

Raise It Up! (from the road)

Hello from the road! We are headed to Tucson to visit our friend (and CEO of Raise It Up) Terry

Happy 2013

“Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can

Young Marriage

  I’ve noticed that it is socially acceptable to criticize or belittle marital unions of young people. I’m not really


Write a comment
  1. Zoe 14 December, 2010, 23:51

    Loved this post. I hate Kwanzaa, too! Because it’s dumb. It’s the definition of politically correct nonsense. And does nothing to properly celebrate any culture.

    Reply this comment
  2. Jeanne 3 November, 2012, 18:31

    Thanks for this post. I didn’t know anything about Kwanza and made the same assumptions. I had no idea it was anti-religious.

    Reply this comment
  3. Anjanette 3 November, 2012, 19:01

    Love KidWorldCitizen!

    Reply this comment
  4. Langston Daniels 7 March, 2013, 16:16

    Jesus christ the people who commented above are stupid as hell. You can’t decide whether or not Kwanzaa properly celebrates a CULTURE YOU ARE NOT A PART OF. Kwanzaa is not born of “politically correct nonsense.” it’s a celebration of Black love, unity, purpose, responsibility, creativity, and faith. it’s a celebration of our perseverance in the African struggle here in the United States. you people don’t understand anything that was not force fed into your mind since birth.

    Reply this comment

Write a Comment

Your e-mail address will not be published.
Required fields are marked*