The Bridge: A Black Holiday Season
By Darryl James
There was a time when the Christmas holiday season didn't get cracking until right after Thanksgiving. But as time has past and as the nation has become more commercial, the Christmas promotions have crept earlier in the year, now starting just around Halloween.
And, Christmas is a dubious holiday with confusion and conflicting roots anyway. (I'll deal with that in a future column). So I propose that African Americans deal with their own origins and traditions, including the holidays.
In fact, here are 10 holidays that Black people should add to their calendar.
Top 10 Holidays For Black People:
Don't Believe The Hype Day
There are so many lies told about Black people, that we should set aside a day each year and yell "Lie!" That yell should be to the news, politicians, and many of us in the community.
Acknowledge The Past Day
It has been said that if you don't remember your past you are destined to repeat it. With that in mind, we should set aside a day each year to acknowledge where we have come from in order to be able to determine where we can go.
Take A Hand Day
On this day, "each on teach one" should be the mantra as we make certain to take one person (preferably a child) and show them something better than they have seen. What we show them should be edifying and empowering.
Shake A Hand Day
Many times, in the bigger cities, we walk right past each other without acknowledging each other. On this holiday, we should go out of our way to say "hello" to at least 10 other Black people.
Beautiful Black Woman Day
No matter what is said about interracial dating, most Black men choose to seek Black women to love. On this day, we should let them know by telling at least 10 Black women that we find them beautiful and that we choose them to love.
Wonderful Black Man Day
No matter what is said about interracial dating, most Black women choose to seek Black men to love. On this day, they should let us know by telling at least 10 Black men that they find us wonderful and that they choose us to love.
Emancipation Proclamation Day
On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. While it was limited and specific at the time to states that had seceded from the Union and only in the event of Union victory in the war, it was still an event to be earmarked in history.
Support Black Business Day
We spend billions of dollars in specific categories, which means that financially, we have a great deal of power. On this holiday, we use that power to empower our own, by spending specifically with Black businesses the entire day. One day of such activity will make an impact far beyond that single day.
Black Heroes/Sheroes Day
King Day is a good start, but since there have been so many Black men and women worthy of annual honor, we should set aside a day each year and discuss the a number of us have made to our community and to the world.
Not all of us are Christians, which means that we should be able to accept Kwanzaa as a universal holiday that pays more attention to us as a people, as opposed to a portion of our spirituality or our wallets. This unique Black American celebration of family, community responsibility, commerce and self-improvement doesn't serve as a substitute for Christmas, but as a time for Black Americans to reaffirm their understanding and commitment to their people and culture.
Now, there are at least 10 days that can make us more hopeful, more enlightened and focused on becoming better people. In fact, we should probably celebrate all ten of them every day.
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