In a hilarious twist, beloved computer nerd slash journalism professor slash wanna-be rockstar Scott Brodeur sent the whitest white kids in his class of mostly white kids to be the only white kids crashing the UMass Amherst Kwanzaa celebration instead of forcing us to present our boring photo gallery projects, because he probably sensed that we don’t have much left of our souls, and please sir, we’d just like to make it to winter break with a little dignity intact. That may hold true for my classmates, but unfortunately I volunteered to live blog the event with Twitter, which is ok because I didn’t have a soul to begin with.
I have a general aversion to religion and holidays and all that kind of stuff to begin with, so I had low expectations, but I was impressed, mostly by my own ignorance with the “what’s the big deal with this whole Kwanzaa thing” way of thinking, but also by the celebration, which showcased a lot of creative talent, intellectual discussion and a general feeling of unity and harmony, which even encompassed the six pasty visitors in the back corner.
Often ridiculed as “made up”, or just generally misunderstood because it’s a relatively “newer” holiday, Kwanzaa is more about community and heritage than anything else, which are pretty admirable things to celebrate (because I’m not a huge fan of celebrating fairy tales and mythical guys who are going to put coal in my stocking because there was that time I saw a naked girl on the computer when I was 13. Ok, maybe it was on purpose, but that’s beside the point).
The Twitter search linked above pretty much sums up the chronology of the event, so knock yourself out with that. It was a fun way to spend the evening and I learned a lot about a subject I knew nothing about before, plus there was free mac and cheese, collard greens, corn bread and fried chicken, which made me wonder if they ordered it for the event or if UMass Catering Services has some preconceived notions.