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Sunday, December 11, 2005

Other Kings of Kwanzaa 

I did some research on people that are serving as King of Kwanzaa, and here's what I found.

Memphis, Tennessee, 2003:

Music, food and distinguished speakers will be among the festivities at the 5th annual Kwanzaa ceremony hosted by the African and African-American Studies program at the University of Memphis on Jan. 1, 2004. The free event will be held from 4 to 6:30 p.m. in the Faulkner Lounge and the second floor concourse of the University Center.

Donald Dyer, principal of Kipp Diamond Academy, will serve as Kwanzaa king, and Barbara Davis, professor of management at the U of M, will be queen....

Inglewood, California, 2004:

[T]o wrap up the holiday season, Councilman Curren D. Price, Jr. and Dr. Cherilyn Lee will host the Inglewood KWANZAA Festival on Sunday, December 26, 2004, 101 North Market Street (corner of Queen & Market) from 12:00-6:00 p.m. The Inglewood KWANZAA Festival “Celebrating Family” will include poetry and a live band; educational activities; nutritional workshops; and multicultural food vendors. Lighting of the candles will take place at 1:00 p.m. sharp.

Come share with Councilman Curren D. Price, Jr., (KING OF KWANZAA) and Dr. Cherilyn
Lee (QUEEN OF KWANZAA) in the Inglewood KWANZAA Festival “Celebrating Family”.

And then there's Tookie:

From freerepublic.com:

Tookie Williams named "King of Kwanzaa"
KFI RADIO NEWS, Los Angeles | 11-29-05 | dfu

Posted on 11/29/2005 6:06:44 PM PST by doug from upland

KFI radio in Los Angeles is reporting that Tookie Williams, the man who has a date with some chemicals at San Quentin on Dec. 13, has been named the King of Kwanzaa for the Los Angeles parade. I think they might have called him an Ooba or some such nonsense.

Tookie may have a slight problem with timing, however, since the parade is on Dec. 26. The organizers are hopeful that he will still be alive then.

Incidentally, the term is "Oba," not "Ooba."

The website lacity.org lists information about the Kwanzaa parade, but doesn't list organizers or honorees:

Kwanzaa Gwaride Parade, 29th Annual

12:00 PM
3:00 PM

Adams Blvd. bet. Crenshaw Blvd. & Buckingham Rd./Somerset/Wellington "Loop" Victoria-Somerset-Wellington-Virginia Rd. bet. Adams & 28th St. (assembly area); Vernon bet. Crenshaw & 11th Ave., Leimert (East) bet. Vernon & 43rd St.; 11th Ave. bet. 43rd & 48th St. (disbanding area); route: Crenshaw Blvd. S/B from Adams to Vernon or 43rd Pl. (as needed)

What's the Rumpus refers to an L.A. Times photo caption:

Page B 4 of the LA Times features a photo of two "black activists". One is holding up a copy of the book "Life In Prison", which features a photo of our hero and points out that he has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. The caption also tells us that "The death row inmate was named king of the 29th Annual Kwanzaa Gwaride and Festival, to occur in L.A. on December 26."

Finally I found a reference to a parade permit application:

12/26/05 29th Annual Kwanzaa Gwaride (Parade)
Kwanzaa People of Color Akile RW

Well, here's what I found about Akile. From World Wide Cannabis Action:

LOS ANGELES, Ca. Project Hemp is Hep, 824 West 40th Place, Los Angeles, CA 90037 Ph 323-232-0935 (Sister Somayah) From Leimert Park.. We proceeded up south on Crenshaw with a parade escort accompanied by Mr. Peoples' BLACK HOLOCAUST Slave Ship... led by the Nigritian Kief Society holding the Nigritia embossed with the Nigritian Kief leaf, and flanked by the Red Crescent moon representing health...medicine... emergency care.. instead of using the 'Red Cross'. Also included...were dignitaries from the "Hemp Movement", including the famous character "Marijuana Man" who rolled on his mini-bike. Sister JaReal rolled in the Hemp is Hep van.. and several youth from the KAOS crew joined in the MMM down the line. Signs read STOP ARRESTING OUR PEOPLE FOR MARIJUANA.. TEACH THE YOUTH THE TRUTH AND THEY WON'T ABUSE!! .... END THE PRISON STATE!! REPARATIONS NOW!! WE had a sound system donated by Sheriff Block's nephew, Michael Block who had reggae music!. Some culture from the community , and speakers included Brother Akile of Kwanzaa People of Color....

And here's something from an old parade:

Subject: Los Angeles Kwanzaa Parade Honors MUMIA
Name: Sister Somayah Kambui
Time/Date: 01:47:33 1/06/99

This is to inform you that the 22nd Annual Kwanzaa Gwaride Festival which takes place on Dec. 26 or WaKwanzaa 1st at 10:00 AM PST (1:00 PM EST). Mumia Abu Jamal is the Oba or King of this year's event. We stand in support of any and all efforts to release Mumia Abu Jamal. The Kwanzaa Gwaride (Parade) & Festival begins Saturday, December 26, 1998... In Los Angeles.... Line up at Adams Blvd and Crenshaw Blvd at 8AM.... The Procession Parades south on Crenshaw to Leimert Park 4 days of Celebration in Leimert Park .

We honor as Royalty an Iyaba (Queen) and an Oba (King) each and every year. This year's theme is "Let's Get Together". The Gwaride, pronounced "gwa-ree-dey" differs from a parade in the following sense; we wish to have something meaningful to open Kwanzaa every year. We have the Chiwara lead the Gwaride representing the opening of the Kwanzaa new year. This year is the Year of Nia or Purpose, the 33rd Year of the Kwanzaa Era (KW).

Kwanzaa is the Holiday of the next 2 millennium. Kwanzaa returns the birth day of Asr (Osirius) to the importance that it once was. Nkulunkulu, referred to in the first Kwanzaa books is said to have appeared as a strong stalk of Muhindi (Corn). Some of the later references to Asr refer to him as being a "Corn divinity or god." There cannot be any mistake Kwanzaa has resurrected dec. 26th as one of the most important times of the year for us. This date has been a special day for thousands of years. it was Pope Julius 1st in the 4th century who changed the date of observance to Dec. 25th making it the Birthday of Christ. Truth cannot be crushed without eventually rising once again.

We have thirteen month Kwanzaa Calendar. Watch for it.

Akile, Chairperson KPOC (Kwanzaa People of Color).

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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