Heri Za Kwanzaa! Kwanzaa, for those who are new to the party or need a refresher, is an African American and pan-African seven day cultural holiday that goes from December 26 to January 1 and celebrates family and community.
During the holiday, communities and families celebrate with feasts, music, and dance, and end the holiday with a day dedicated to reflection and recommitment to the seven principles.
On a day when so many family members, friends and loved ones come together to celebrate, GBN wishes you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, a blessed and bountiful Kwanzaa and Hopeful Holidays all around.
As we give to each other, let us always strive to remember what a gift we have in life, and to cherish that spirit always for ourselves as well as others all year long.
GBN thanks you for all of your support and goodwill throughout the years, and we wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, a blessed and bountiful Kwanzaa and Happy Holidays all around. May positivity and the fortitude to change the world for the better guide us all in 2017 and beyond!
The White House issued the following statement from President Barack and first lady Michelle Obama on Friday:
“Michelle and I extend our warmest wishes to those celebrating Kwanzaa this holiday season. Today begins a celebration highlighting the rich African-American heritage and culture through the seven principles of Kwanzaa—unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith. During this season, families come together to reflect on blessings of the past year and look forward to the promises in the year ahead. As we remain committed to building a country that provides opportunity for all, this time of year reminds us that there is much to be thankful for.
As families around the world unite to light the Kinara today, our family extends our prayers and best wishes during this holiday season.”
After a big dinner, we enjoy mixing up a classic digestive cocktail known as the Stinger. Inevitably, we all end up in the library with drinks in hand. We keep a framed image of a distinguished looking gentleman among our cocktail books. This encourages guests to ask about his identity and opens up conversation to educate people on the first African American cocktail book author in known American history–Tom Bullock.
Not much is known about Mr. Bullock. He appears to have been born in Kentucky to a freed married couple in 1873. He made bartending fame at the Pendennis Club in Louisville as well as the St. Louis Country Club. He served quite a few powerful people, including George Herbert Walker, the grandfather of our 41st President George Herbert Walker Bush, who was such a fan he wrote the forward in Mr. Bullock’s book.
The earliest Stinger recipe we have in our cocktail book collection goes back to Tom Bullock’s The Ideal Bartender published in 1917. The Stinger is an after-dinner drink typically made with brandy, though various other liquors can be substituted. Mr. Bullock instructs to make a stinger in the following manner:
Stinger–Country Club Style
Use a large Mixing glass; fill with Lump Ice.
1 jigger Old Brandy.
1 pony white Creme de Menthe.
Shake well; strain into Cocktail glass and serve.
I prefer a two to one ratio of even more brandy to menthe. No matter the proportions, the stinger has been seen sipped in the swankiest New York nightspots and remains a classic the world over.
This Thursday, December 26 marked the first day of Kwanzaa, a week-long celebration of African culture and heritage, and The African American Museum in Philadelphiacelebrates with a full weekend of events on December 28 and 29. Over the course of the weekend, look forward to an informative discussion about the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa and the lighting of the museum’s Kwanzaa candles. Celebrate the roots of the holiday with expressive dances, music and storytelling as well. All events are family-friendly and encourage a reconnection with African roots and the support of African American communities.
Kwanzaa Celebration activities are included in museum admission. Guests are encouraged to bring a canned food item for Philabundance.
Annual Kwanzaa Celebration at The African American Museum in Philadelphia
When: December 28-29
Where: African American Museum in Philadelphia, 701 Arch Street
Cost: Included in general admission
More info: www.aampmuseum.org
LOS ANGELES — The seven-day festival of Kwanzaa will begin December 26. It is a time when African Americans highlight their heritage.
Maulana Karenga, a black activist and African Studies professor, created Kwanzaa in 1966, to – as he said – “give Blacks an opportunity to celebrate themselves and their history.” Each day is dedicated to a different principle, and a candle is lit each night. At a recent festival at the California African American Museum, Babe Evans explained the principles behind the upcoming holiday to a group of children. The first is unity. “Umoja. It means a time to think about your ancestors, to think about the struggles that people have been through, so that you can now have a life that is much more open,” said Evans.
Kwanzaa is based on African themes. Its principles are stated in the Swahili language, and the name Kwanzaa comes from a phrase meaning first fruits of the harvest. “The second day, because it’s a seven-day ceremony, is Kujichagulia, and that means self-determination,” said Evans. Collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith. These round out the seven principles of Kwanzaa.
Gift-giving is a part of the holiday, but actor Jeffrey Anderson-Gunter says the celebration has not become commercialized, like Christmas. “In Kwanzaa, we make our gifts. All the kids will make something and give to each other, and then we have an abundance of food that’s shared,” said Anderson-Gunter. In many African-American homes, Kwanzaa is celebrated along with Christmas. Writer Marsha Bullock, whose family is Christian, says that’s what her family does. “We do Christmas, and then Kwanzaa starts directly the day after, so we do that too. And then of course, my favorite part is the celebration where you get to eat everything,” said Bullock.
The festival will end January 1st with a feast with friends and family.