Course: Kwanzaa: Philosophy, Values and Praxis

October 30, 2013

Africalogist Melodye Micëre Van Putten — through her Ashay University — will be hosting ‘Kwanzaa: Philosophy, Values and Praxis’ at the Bermuda National Library on November 14, 21, 28, 2013 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.

Mrs Van Putten said, “Kwanzaa: Philosophy, Values and Praxis explores the philosophy behind a unique cultural holiday celebrated by Black people globally.

“It examines Kwanzaa’s universal values and opportunities for practical application of Kwanzaa as a cultural observance and tool for community development and empowerment. As an expression of traditional African philosophy and cosmology, Kwanzaa seeks to focus on core values that all people utilize for success. Kwanzaa is not just another holiday!”

Tuition for the three-week course is $100; a $25 non-refundable registration fee is required to reserve your space. The tuition includes all instruction and the facilitation text, the Guide to Self-Knowledge workbook. Registration is open to all people and closes on Friday, November 1, 2013.

Mrs Van Putten is an international education consultant, writer, poet and lecturer.

Specializing in the practical application of African-centered values, she created the character education program Black History Workshops for Children [BHWC] in 1986, and adapted BHWC for public schools in Bermuda where it is known as Ashay: Rites of Passage [2003].

Like BHWC, Ashay University utilizes global African history and culture to focus on self-knowledge, self-determination and self-empowerment.  For more information, contact Mrs. Van Putten by e-mail at

Read More About

Category: All

Comments (1)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Serious Though says:

    Many elements of Kwanzaa come from African harvest celebrations. The word Kwanzaa is taken from the Swahili phrase matunda ya kwanza meaning first fruits. Each day of the Kwanzaa celebration is dedicated to one of the seven principles of Kwanzaa: Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (Self-Determination), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), Ujamma (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity), Imani (Faith). These words along with mkeka, muhindi, kinara, mishumaa saba, kikombe cha umoja, zawadi, and karamu and many others used in the Kwanzaa celebrations are Swahili words. Interestingly, the word Kwanzaa is not a Swahili word, kwanza is.

    Kwanzaa Kinera, the mishumaa saba (seven candles) and how similar that tradition was to the Jewish Hanukkah tradition of lighting the Hanukkah menorah or Hanukiyah which has seven or nine candles. I’ve often wondered if the mishumaa saba was borrowed from Jewish tradition. there is no proof of this,although this isn’t necessarily a problem. The Jewish people were enslaved in Egypt, Ethiopia has a strong Jewish and Christian history, and Black Jews have been recently recognized by Israel as being Jewish.

    African-Americans celebrate this holiday instead of Christmas to recognize their African roots or they feel Christmas is a white man’s holiday. Although, this is not what Dr. Karanga intended. Kwanzaa is to be celebrated along with your religious celebrations.

    Kwanzaa appears to be a melting pot of African traditions and perhaps this is the intent for a celebration for African-Americans who live in a melting pot society.

    Kwanzaa Is Not An African Holiday!