There are some days that should be considered Pan African holidays for the impact they have had on the Diaspora. Holidays play the all important role of reaffirming shared values, reminding us of who we are, and giving us time to reflect on what it means to be a part of a culture.
Which is why we should be careful about the holidays we practice.
There is no harm in observing and respecting other cultures and their practices. However, when we practice holidays attributed to an alien culture as seriously as we practice those of our own culture, we actively practice miseducation.
Miseducation: the cultivation of an alien identity The Miseducation of the Negro
When we celebrate Martyrs Day – an Ugandan Holiday that commemorates the day an African King tried to prevent the domination of the European church – we elevate the interests of an alien group over our own.
And when we practice Christianity and Easter, we hypocritically engage in Pagan worship forced on us by an alien group.
The Importance of Pan African Holidays
African holidays are important ways for us to express our collective identity and culture. Culture teaches the individual knowledge of self – who they are, how they came to be, and the world around them in the context of the society that they are a part of.
African holidays and the culture they represent is our link to the past. And through the creation, knowledge, and protection of our culture through holidays, we are able to access the thousands of years of shared experiences from the group that we belong to.
This is the tragedy of the weapon of white supremacy known as integration – a form of mass miseducation.
When one integrates with an alien group, ones culture comes to resemble theirs. The ways and customs of your people disappear – and with it, a knowledge of who you are, how you came to be, and the world according to your original group.
Assimilation forces you to abandon what you know to be natural and appropriate in favor of accepting the way of an alien group. You begin to forget how to dress, how to speak your language, how to build relationships, and how to learn. You must then re-learn these things according to the alien culture that you find yourself assimilating into.
By reclaiming and creating our African holidays, we can begin to undo some of the damage caused by our individual miseducation and our collective integration.
Click the next tab below to see all 6 Pan African holidays we should all be observing.
African Liberation Day Is May 25
At the 6th Pan-African Congress, May 25th was declared African Liberation Day to commemorate the formation of the Organization of African Unity.
The African holiday reminds us of the bloodshed and sacrifice that our ancestors made to liberate Africans at home and abroad from the yoke of colonialism.
African Flag Day Is August 13
So many African national flags use the colors red, black, and green to represent their nations. We forget that these colors – and the original RBG flag – is the symbol of Pan-Africanism from around the world.
From The UNIA Official Website:
The RBG flag was created in 1920 by the members of the UNIA in response to the enormously popular 1900 coon song “Every Race Has a Flag but the Coon,” which has been cited as one of the three coon songs that “firmly established the term coon in the American vocabulary”.
A 1921 report appearing in the Africa Times and Orient Review, for which Marcus Garvey previously worked, quoted him regarding the importance of the flag: Show me the race or the nation without a flag, and I will show you a race of people without any pride. Aye! In song and mimicry they have said, “Every race has a flag but the coon.” How true! Aye! But that was said of us four years ago. They can’t say it now….
This holiday is an opportunity for us to refocus on the political destiny of the African Diaspora – a United States of Africa. Celebrate this holiday by wearing and flying the red, black, and green during community events, parades, and outside your home.
The Festival of the Ancestors Is August 18
Since the first great African Civilizations, we understood the important role our Ancestors played in our lives.
August 18th was first commemorated in Ancient Kemet as the Wag festival – a day in honor of the dead and the Neteru associated with death and afterlife in Kemetic philosophy.
Since then, similar holidays have been practiced across the African Diaspora. In fact, nearly every African society – from Brazil and Haiti to Gabon and Australia – has a holiday specifically devoted to Ancestral veneration.
Celebrate this holiday by constructing your Ancestral shrine, visiting the burial places of your direct ancestors, and by honoring our collective ancestors by visiting their resting places.
African Martyrs Day Is February 21
While we normally commemorate the day that our Brothers and Sisters are born – not killed – on February 21 we remember the faith of the fallen as an African Holiday.
On this day, Malcolm X joined the Ancestors, and because of his impact on the entire movement his death came to represent all those who fell in the struggle. And in honoring him, we honor the best in ourselves.
The Burning Spear – The institutionalization of February 21 as “African Martyrs Day” by the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP) validates the saying, “You can kill a revolutionary, but you can’t kill the revolution”, quoted by Fred Hampton, the former Chair of the Black Panther Party-Chicago, who was also assassinated by the U.S. government as a result of the assault on the Black Revolution of the 60s.
This day is dedicated to the known, lesser-known and unknown African martyrs, in the history of the longest national liberation struggle in the world.
Kwanzaa Is Celebrated From December 26 to January 1
As an African American and Pan-African holiday celebrated by millions throughout the world African community, Kwanzaa brings a cultural message which speaks to the best of what it means to be African and human in the fullest sense.
How do you celebrate these African holidays? Is there a day that you believe should be added? Leave a comment below!