It's the holiday season again and as usual people are confused: what are all these non-Christmas holidays going on? Last time we helped you figure out what Hanukkah was through the power of song. This time we'll be covering Kwanzaa.
Kwanzaa is a week-long holiday, because when you're not celebrating Christmas you need a lot more days to make up for it. It starts the day after Christmas and goes until the first of the new year, effectively encompassing all your holiday needs for the end of December.
Kwanzaa was created by Dr. Maulana Karengato in 1966 to celebrate African-American culture. It was also created because, quoting Dr. Karenga, "Jesus was psychotic" and Christianity is a "white religion." We'll give him a pass on that one, considering the time period and the fact that he recanted those statements later.
But what does Kwanzaa mean? Well, once again, I could tell you, but what fun would that be? So here's seven songs to help you figure out this alternative December holiday.
7. Paint the Town December Children's Choir, "The Light of Kwanzaa"
Cute kids are a universal part of any holiday because, really, all this is for the children anyway.
6. The Learning Station, "Kwanzaa Song"
Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church shows that, despite Dr. Karenga's comments, Christians can celebrate Kwanzaa too.
"Kujichagulia" is one of the principles of Kwanzaa, particularly of the second day. It means "self-determination" and, well, the song covers the rest.
4. Jeff Marx, "White Kwanzaa"
This is a comedic look at Kwanzaa, but it gets all the main points down.
3. Kamal Imani, "Happy Kwanzaa (Hip Hop)"
A Kwanzaa rap song, of which there aren't many, oddly enough.
2. William Scott, "The Kwanzaa Song"
From an album that may be the only whole Kwanzaa album out there, apparently. Somebody get to work on more, stat!
1. Teddy Pendergrass, "Happy Kwanzaa"
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
Not many mainstream artists have touched upon Kwanzaa for some reason, but Teddy Pendergrass was willing to get into the spirit.