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Habari Gani 2013

Habari Gani 2013

These past couple of years, a few food blogger friends and I, contributed recipes to KwanzaaCulinarians.com. This would’ve been our third year, but I needed to rest. I regret that we failed our fans in this decision, but this is a better solution for me. In addition to taking a relaxing vacation from my 9 … Continue reading

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  • The celebration of Kwanzaa has been an important tradition in my family for several years. In this article, I will discuss its historical development in my own family and why I believe it to be a significant milestone in the reclamation and restoration of African and African American history and culture. My wife and I moved to Freeport, New York soon after we were married. It was in this integrated community where our two sons, Steven and Mark, spent their early years. Although they got along well with their white friends, we knew the day was soon coming when we had to prepare them for entrance into a society that does not always treat black boys with kindness and fairness. It was during this period that I began to look for a vehicle for exposing them to the richness of African and African American history and culture.  (more…)
  • Many people look at the New Year as a time for reflection; I choose to do this in celebration of Kwanzaa. Time for me to take a look at Spiritual Principles and examine my achievements and that, which requires improvement. Taking some quiet time with a pot of tea and some inspirational reading this, most importantly, sets the stage for reflection. I sit quietly pondering the words between sips of tea contemplating the principles: (more…)
  • Kujichagulia: Self-Determination, Speaking for yourself and making choices that benefit the community At the farmers market, it’s not unusual for a customer to pick up a vegetable and ask, “What do you do with this?” For the times that I’ve been in earshot, the item in question is a leafy green like kale or a root vegetable like celeriac. Most times, it’s another customer, or me, who will chime in and run off a laundry list of ways to cook that one thing, both inspiring and overwhelming the newbie. My favorite question to answer, and also the one I’m most bothered by, is what to do with collard greens. Living in NYC, I expect most Northern U.S. or foreign-born residents to be clueless when it comes to this broad-leafed, Vitamin K-rich Brassica, but I am always dismayed when I hear a U.S. American of African descent express unfamiliarity or a negative association with its traditional Southern U.S.-style of preparation, especially those of Southern heritage. (more…)
  • In the creative spirit of Kuumba, here’s a recipe demonstrating good comfort food doesn’t always take hours of preparation and cooking. This Smoked Paprika Pasta with Stir-Fry Harissa Collard Greens is a fresh food fast dish. It’s a blend of North African spices, savory thick pasta and collard greens simply stir-fried until bright green. Often, collard greens are pre-cut into slender lengths and sealed in a plastic bag to use as needed throughout a busy week. In this recipe, the pasta is homemade and frozen ahead of time. However, dried fettuccine or pappardelle pasta is a timesaving substitute. The process from prepping to serving this creative and fast dish is less than 15 minutes. Instead of giving in to the temptation of fast food restaurants that don’t benefit the health of our community, try this fresh food fast recipe for a savory satisfaction. (more…)
  • Written by Walker Tisdale III of HealthyBlackMen.org, the Number One Source for Healthy Black Men I recall my very first Kwanzaa celebration and ironically it was as an undergraduate student at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Michigan. Several other African American students and I were staying on campus for the holidays and decided to get together for a pot luck dinner. The truth is money was so tight for me back then, I couldn’t afford to make the trip home and back, let alone to buy presents for family and friends. It was a hard time financially and emotionally. (more…)
  • When I first started blogging about food, I immediately discovered an informative culinary website focusing on African-Americans with a passion for food. CuisineNoirMag.com is one of my favorite food sites for learning about up and coming chefs, food trends, wine and recipes. Recently, CuisineNoirMag.com published their premier print issue, which is still on sale. Sheree Williams, the Publisher and Editor-in-Chef graciously answered a few questions and discuss how her publication will honor Kwanzaa. (more…)
  • This is the first year I’m personally honoring Kwanzaa in my household. In years past, I was invited to a friend or neighbor’s celebration. Our household’s first year of recognizing Kwanzaa will be a simple act. Seven candles, representing Nguzo Saba, or principles--Umoja, Kujichagulia, Ujima, Ujamaa, Nia, Kuumba and Imani--will line our table. If time permits, I will make a special meal to further discuss and think about the daily principle. A thoughtful holiday requiring no fancy gifts and decorations, Kwanzaa’s timing is quite appropriate after weeks of extravagant giving. It’s a joyful period of reflective thought about our cultural past, present and future in the coming new year. Within the occasion, we think about our community, friends, family, and ourselves. Basically, it’s a time to think about what is truly important in life. (more…)

Learn more about Kwanzaa

The word "Kwanzaa" comes from the phrase, "matunda ya kwanza" which means "first-fruits." Kwanzaa's extra "a" evolved as a result of a particular history of the Organization Us. It was clone as an expression of African values in order to inspire the creativity of our children. In the early days of Us, there were seven children who each wanted to represent a letter of Kwanzaa. Since kwanza (first) has only six letters, we added an extra "a" to make it seven, thus creating "Kwanzaa." To learn more about Kwanzaa, visit the Official Kwanzaa Website.

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