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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: Central Valley | Education & Student Activism
Kwanzaa: The "Califorina Grown" Pan African Holiday
Recognition and restoration of the values in Pan African agricultural harvest celebrations is the basis of the first widely celebrated African American Holiday. Kwanzaa celebrations were established in the State of California, during the US Civil Rights Movement and aftermath of the 1966 Watts Riots, Los Angeles, CA.
California Kwanzaa Celebration: First Fruits of the Harvest in the Farm to Fork Capital of America
The “California Grown” Agriculture Holiday, Kwanzaa is derived from Matunda Ya Kwanzaa which means ‘first fruits of the harvest ’ in Swahili, the official language of Kwanzaa.
Recognition and restoration of the values in Pan African agricultural harvest celebrations is the basis of the first African American Holiday created in the United States. During the US Civil Rights Movement and in the aftermath of the Watts Riots in Los Angeles, Kwanzaa was created by the US organization by students on the campus of University of California, Los Angeles.
Kwanzaa is a structured awareness of empowerment preserved in our unique global journey as a people of African Descent. By reconnecting to best of our Pan African past, the sacred science of Agriculture, Kwanzaa is now celebrated by millions, throughout the world.
Kwanzaa events are very diverse, intimate home gathering and large public cultural celebrations use songs and dances, African drums, storytelling, poetry reading and a large traditional community meal celebrating the bounty of the agriculture harvest.
Our “California Grown” holiday is poised to provide new linkages to the broader agricultural industries throughout the “Farm to Fork Capital of America” by expanding equity and equal opportunities throughout the Greater California Central Valley, “the greatest garden in the world.”
Kwanzaa has seven basic symbols, with seven basic principles which represent values and concepts reflective of the best of Pan African culture as crafted by Dr. Mualana Karenga.
The seven principles include Umoja, Kujichagulia, Ujima, Ujamaa, Nia, Kuumba and Imani which translate to unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.
The official 2017 Census of Agriculture, conducted by the National Agriculture Statistics Service for the United States Department of Agriculture, is poised to qualify and quantify Agriculture production for the first time in urban and rural communities. The Census of Agriculture is an essential measurement of our long and difficult journey in America.
The unique agriculture commodity, Cannabis, as officially identified in new California law, is now a major part of California Department of Food and Agriculture and University of California Education, Research and Equity Programs.
The projected social impacts and economic opportunities measured by active participation in California Agriculture industries is possible because of active and engaged civic participation by our community.
New and targeted US Agriculture policies and programs may expand opportunity beyond the #1 cash crop, to include the over 400+ “California Grown” commodities that are high demand worldwide, valued for exceptional quality and nutritional value.
Our 2017 California Kwanzaa Celebration, “First Fruits of the Harvest in the Farm to Fork Capitol of America” will highlight some of our “hidden figures” essential to developing and preserving our California Pan African Heritage, “finding the ‘Gold’ hidden in our communities.”