Although there was no Google doodle to remind me, today marks the beginning of Kwanzaa, a seven-day celebration meant to honor African American culture. Each day, a different Kwanzaa principle is highlighted to help reconnect folks of African descent. Of course, this is all speculation since I have never nor do I know anyone who has celebrated Kwanzaa. This may be a dirty rumor, but I think there’s an emphasis on handmade gifts that are supposed to be inspired by the principles. I guess the handmade aspect is supposed to combat the materialism of Christmas, which really sucks because that’s the one day of the year I feel okay about my materialism. But I digress.
Although my recollection of Kwanzaa is a bit shaky, I took a political science class with a professor who made us remember each principle of Kwanzaa. I have no idea why, but if my blackness is ever randomly tested, I know I can remember at least 4 of them without the help of Wikipedia. My knowledge of the Kwanzaa principles also helps on days like to day wherein I blaspheme my way through a blog by applying said principles to black celebrities who seemingly need reminders. Here goes:
Umoja (Unity) — I think Common should take this principle to heart. In the last few weeks, Com has solidified his cornball status with his rather public conflicts with poet, Maya Angelou (for his use of the “N-word”) and Drake (because Drizzy has replaced him as hip-hop’s Michael Bolton?). Seriously, Com, you should consider making up with Drizzy, because he learned by watching you, and Ms. Angelou, because Oprah don’t play.
Kujichagulia (Self-Determination) — If anyone needs a little self-determination it’s one of my beloved Atlanta housewives, Cynthia Bailey. Yes, Cynthia, I’m going to pretend I know you since I watch your show each week. Your adulation for Nene(‘s celebrity status) and tolerance of your boo,
Papa Smurf Peter has got to stop. You need your New York awesome back–stat!
Ujima (Collective work and Responsibility) — The Miami Heat. Yes, LeBron played well yesterday, but come the 4th quarter of a close playoff game, South Beach is going to see those talents disappear.
Ujamma (Cooperative Economics) — Kobe, Kobe, Kobe. No prenup? Seriously? If I had known that how you were rolling I would have married you and had your children. Just… wow. P.S. Chi-town! D-Rose!
Nia (Purpose) — The entire cast of the Basketball Wives franchise. ‘Nough said.
Kuumba (Creativity) — Hey, Drizzy: I’m just sayin’ you could do better. Well, maybe you can’t, but your records all sound like monotonal dirges. Get some vocal diversity. Or a life worth rap-singing about. P.S. Stop being so sad.
Imani (Faith) — This was going to be my obligatory Tyler Perry jab, but perhaps Eddie Long needs this the most. Not because he had to stop preaching. Not because his wife has decided to file for divorce. But because whatever faith compelled him to rock lacefront jheri curl wig was the look to go with when he initially began his attempts to squash all of this mess is probably on the ropes now. (Yes, I’m still stuck back there.)
Happy Kwanzaa, everyone.