Happy Kwanzaa

Hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas! Mine was great. Spent time with my family. Ate – many times. Drank – I had a shot of Tequila with my uncle at 2 in the afternoon. Got to see my godson who will be 2 in February. I bought him a Thomas the Train set and he loved it. Wouldn’t stop playing with it the whole time I was there so that really made me happy. Overall it was just a really good day.

Yesterday I visited one of my great aunt’s house in Westchester. The last time I remember going to her home was in the late 90’s and from my memory, her house was humongous. Growing up, this was the closest thing to a mansion I knew. Like when we played hide and go seek, I couldn’t find some of my cousins til next week. That’s how big it felt. But now that I’m an adult, I pulled up in the driveway thinking “you know… this is just a regular ol house.” It’s still a very nice house and much, much, much better than my one bedroom apartment, but far from a mansion.

Anyway, hung out with my little cousins who aren’t so little anymore. Watched movies and what seemed like a marathon of new Beyonce videos. Almost had to take my belt off when one of my female cousins was imitating Bey’s dance moves. So what if she’s 20 years old now, she’ll always be little MJ to me. And they’re dating now! I wasn’t ready for that! These are nearly grown woman who are in college and I’m threatening to choke their boyfriends the day after Christmas. It was still a good day.

Had a sit down with two of my aunts who are the youngest of 11 children. We talked about the good ol days and I learned a few things about my family history. Caught them up to speed on what’s going on in my life and they’ll be coming to see me perform at Gotham this Saturday.

We all stood around the dining room table to celebrate the first night of Kwanzaa. Talked about the history and meaning of the holiday. Contrary to popular belief, Kwanzaa is not solely for any religious group (like Muslims as most people think). Kwanzaa celebrates all African heritage and culture and promotes a sense of pride in community with 7 principles that I feel can be adapted by people of any ethnic group.

Which brings me to the first principle of Kwanzaa; Umoja. Umoja means unity so each person around the table said what comes to their mind when they hear the word unity. It was so hard for me not bust out with a Chappelle-esque Rick James impersonation of the song Unity! We lit the first candle on the kinara, or as I like to call it, the African minora. There are 7 candles in total, each representing a different day and principle of Kwanzaa.

I won’t get into what each one means right now because there are some Jamaican window installers knocking on the door to put some new windows in my mom’s place. True story! Totally not making any of this up. Hope they brought some beef patties are something cuz a brotha hungrierdenamug! I’ll holla!