Will Kwanzaa mean more in 2020, a year when Black Lives Matter, fight for social justice took center stage

By Celeste E. Whittaker

(EXCERPT)

Kisha Bird, 44, is a native of Philadelphia, who has lived in Washington, D.C. for 12 years and is the director of youth policy for The Center for Law and Social Policy.

She was brought up in a household that celebrated Kwanzaa and thinks that Black people will be moving closer to their culture this year by celebrating Kwanzaa.

“I grew up in the Black Power tradition as well as the liberation theology tradition,” Bird said. “My grandfather was an Episcopal priest and my father a community organizer in Philadelphia, so Kwanzaa was a mainstay in our household and in my upbringing. The principles of Kwanzaa, I think, when we think about celebrating as an event is really something that I’ve learned over my years that you live through your work, you live through your life.

“… But I think about the year we’ve been experiencing. I’m a youth advocate for social justice for change, for making sure there are just communities for our young people and breaking down the barriers they face,'' she continued. "When I think about Kwanzaa now, I don’t think about it as necessarily just those particular days at the end of each year as a holiday per say, but how do we as Black people in America, as descendants of Africa, live out these principles?”

 

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