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Sunday, December 31, 2006

 

A Lump of Coal for Kwanzaa

- By Selwyn Duke

For you religio-centric clods who haven't yet expanded your celebratory horizons -- and you know who you are -- I bring a message of tolerance and inclusiveness: December 26 marked the start of Kwanzaa.

As some know, this High Holy Week saw its birth 482 moons in the distant past, which means about forty years ago. It was founded by the Great Prophet, Maulana Karenga, who was born in the cradle of religion itself, Maryland.

Like many deeply spiritual men, Karenga came from humble origins, christened Ron N. Everett and raised on a poultry farm. Perhaps it was the desire to distance himself from his fowl upbringing, but young Everett took the African name "Karenga" and then later adopted "maulana," a Swahili title that means "master teacher."

Like all great spiritualistic teachers, Karenga never felt constrained by the ways and strictures of this material fold, like, for instance, laws prohibiting, assault, robbery and the torture of young women, the last of these being a highly spiritual act for which he was imprisoned, no doubt in violation of his constitutional right to freedom of religious expression............................................
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