How I didn’t celebrate Kwanzaa

[Cross Post from FB]

I haven’t posted anything heavy for a while. I needed a break.  Then I paused and asked what needed to be said.

So, let’s have a little show and tell about how internalized oppression works.

I wanted to celebrate Kwanzaa this year. I stared at the calendar mid Dec 2014, googled for local events (just our Botanical Garden and Art Museum) and even read an adorable children’s book on the subject. I was going to ask the FB collective if they knew of any celebrations. I didn’t post.

Then I couldn’t get myself to voice my request to celebrate as a family to my white husband. He’s also my best friend and I trust him with every part of me.

Instead of investigating this internal conflict, being the enlightened being I am, decided that I would journal about it daily instead. I didn’t.

I began to hang with my buddies fear, shame and guilt, rationalizing about how it was “a made up holiday” that no one celebrated anyway b/c if they did and I was in touch with my culture I would know about it. Before I knew it, I had decided silently that I was either deficient or wrong for even being interested. After all, wasn’t Christmas (that I celebrate mostly in a secular/cultural way) enough?

Woah.

Internalized oppression: When the slave mind polices itself.

That’s just my current example. Think of all the ways we do this to ourselves daily, monthly throughout our lives. Our individual work is to notice, stop and deconstruct this nonsense in ourselves.

I’m going to have my Kwanzaa.  I’ve been looking at the 7 Principles and beginning In February, I’m investigating one a month for seven months so that when it comes back around in December, I’ll have a different story to tell.

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