Who Told You To Celebrate Holidays and Why?

Family,

I know I’m going to sound like the party pooper by saying this, but that’s not my intention.  Please feel free to celebrate whatever you want.  I’m not demonizing anyone.  But, one of the main reasons I’ve never been a big fan of holidays (the ones we traditionally practice here in the US) is because of the environment of rushed and false companionship they create. 

There is a reason suicides increase around the holidays.  They produce a situation in which people who are already down on their luck and lonely will feel even worse than they do on any normal day, just because it’s the holidays.  We’re encouraged to be with and spend money on loved ones by the commercials we see, not because of the need for genuine companionship but to persuade us to engage in consumerism–food, hotels, plane tickets, sports tickets and subscriptions, car rentals, gifts, gas, decorations, etc. 

People–especially black people–who already feel discarded by society now have to have these images of companionship and affection, as false as it may be, shoved in their faces everywhere they go.  Again, I’m not trying to spit on anyone’s holiday. Do your thing.  Please spend time with your fam and be festive.

All I’m saying is, what is stopping us, as black people, from creating our own holidays–ones that stand as periods of time where we focus on the principles, customs, codes, and individuals that empower us as a people?  What holidays have we implemented ourselves that honor our forefathers and foremothers who gave their lives to fight white supremacy? Why is there no Ida B. Wells Day? I understand we would need to implement a code of conduct first, the word is our holiday celebrating the day we ratified that code of conduct specifically for us, like how white society celebrates theirs on Independence Day? 

All I’m saying is, it’s time to rethink the way we celebrate holidays. It’s time to ask, what are we celebrating them for, and who told us to celebrate them and for what reason? If we’re going to celebrate anything, it should be something that empowers us 365 days of the year, not just a couple of days or weeks out of the year. Just some food for thought as your stuffing your turkey and dressing down this holiday.

One Love & One Justice

 


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5 thoughts on “Who Told You To Celebrate Holidays and Why?

  1. Right. I do not miss all the preparation and cleaning from childhood when my (parents’) house was always the house for too dang many family gatherings. It is hard to break the elders in my family from these holidays, so I still show up to eat and collect 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Kelley,

      Thank you for taking the time to comment.

      I don’t even try to break a lot of my family of their traditions anymore. They’re stuck in their ways. I still love them and I’m not going to drag them in street nor anyone for celebrating holidays. What I’m saying though is, why don’t we, as black people, decide our own holidays instead of celebrated the ones assigned to us. One thing about white supremacy is that it does nothing that does not empower itself.

      The holidays we’re told to celebrate reinforce to the society what our ideals and principles should be, to the point where we as black people don’t even question what we’re celebrating–kind of like how we practice on a daily basis certain customs that uphold white supremacy without question.

      How empowering would it be to ourselves if we decided, collectively, to celebrate the lives of our figures like Ida B. Wells, Dr. Frances Cress Welsing, Malcolm X, Dr. John Henrick Clarke, Dr. Yosef Ben-Jochannan, or Marcus Garvey? I’m just trying to say how about we decide our own destiny and celebrate milestones that empower us, like how the dominant society does? These holidays are only for a couple of days out of the year, but they empower their philosophy all year round.

      Why can’t we have that?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Right. The blind follow is kind of scary. I agree with you; we should definitely celebrate our people who paved the way without perpetuating the capitalistic culture surrounding pagan/western holidays.

        I honestly just want to be out of town the week of Thanksgiving and the week of Christmas. Somewhere kinda remote with spotty wifi.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Kelley,

        To dovetail on your point, in terms of what we’re talking about. I think you might be on to something. An example of a holiday black people could adopt is where we turn off the TV and internet and our phones for one month and we devoting that week to spiritual growth, rest and rejuvenation, and intellectually and emotionally maturing.

        Black people definitely need something like that to balance us, after we’ve had to live under this system of injustice. #CleanseBlackMindsMonth maybe?

        Liked by 2 people

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