Several years ago when I heard that Patti Labelle was coming to perform in Salt Lake City, I begged my husband to take me to her concert. He bought the tickets and I anxiously awaited the date to arrive. The night of the concert came, and when we walked into the concert hall we quickly realized that we were probably the only two white people in the entire place, until a black gentleman walked in late with his white girlfriend, at which time Ms. Labelle put him on the spot and jokingly razzed him about picking a white woman over a black woman. The concert was awesome, Patti Labelle was fabulous, the people in the audience were on their feet dancing and singing and having so much fun and we had a ball!
Now, when I first read about Kwanzaa and the Nguzo Saba, or seven principles of Kwanzaa, I thought: "Wow, this is a great holiday. Every family and community should strive to follow these seven principles. I wonder if anyone would care if this fluffy old white lady joined in the celebration." and then I continued to read that Kwanzaa was developed as a holiday exclusively for African American people to celebrate their African American heritage rather than "simply imitate the practice of the dominate society" and I thought: "Oh, darn! I can't horn in on that." But then I read that over the years things have become more relaxed, and even non-African Americans celebrate Kwanzaa. Oh yay!
I respect African American people, their culture, the struggles they have endured, and the strengths they have developed because of those struggles and I truly do not wish to steal their holiday. But what a wonderful world this would be if all people adopted the seven principles of Kwanzaa and strive to be better family members, better neighbors, better people. Happy Kwanzaa to all!
Even little red monsters celebrate Kwanzaa. :0)