It's the holiday season and the big two, Christmas and
Hanukkah, are once again benefiting from decades of masterful marketing, catchy
songs and tear-jerking movies starring Jimmy Stewart and, uh, Adam Sandler. But
what about Kwanzaa, our youngest holiday?
By Lawrence Ross, Director, Consumer Strategist Iconoculture
, African American
It's only 40 years old, and even though the African-inspired celebration has
grown exponentially throughout the United States, it still lags behind in the
all-important area of marketing. Where's its movie? Well, fortunately, you don't
have long to wait.
M.K. Asante Jr., an award-winning filmmaker and son of Dr. Molefi Asante, the
Temple University professor who created the theory of Afrocentricity, is now in
postproduction with the first documentary ever produced about Kwanzaa. A recent
graduate of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, the 24-year-old has
already directed an award-winning film on the African diaspora, 500
Years Later, and is an associate professor at Morgan State University in
Asante's Kwanzaa project includes Kwanzaa founder Dr. Maulana Karenga and NFL
Hall of Famer Jim Brown and is narrated by author and poet Dr. Maya Angelou.
Looking to finish postproduction and gain distribution in 2007, Asante hopes
that Kwanzaa will make the seven principles of this new holiday as ubiquitous as
a Christmas tree or a menorah. Maybe then, little Kwanzaa can gain a little bit
more market share in a crowded holiday environment.
MuzikJunky (NYC)Afrocentricity remains as
one of the newest and least understood of philosophical branches. Originating in
the late 19th Century through the work of W.E.B. DuBois and his contemporaries,
Asante provides a brilliant stepping-stone, just scraping the surface for the
uninitiated beginner, into this compelling branch of thought. Particularly
interesting are his arguements on human nature and of universality.
Afrocentricity is NOT Black nationalist propaganda, it is a legitimate
point-of-view and a basis of serious scholarship. Essential reading for any
Plot Synopsis: Crime, drugs, HIV/AIDS, poor education, inferiority
complex, low expectation, poverty, corruption, poor health, and underdevelopment
plagues people of African decent globally - Why? 500 years later from the onset
of Slavery and subsequent Colonialism, Africans are still struggling for basic
freedom-Why? Filmed in five continents, and over twenty countries, 500 Years
Later engages the authentic retrospective voice, told from the African
vantage-point of those whom history has sought to silence by examining the
collective atrocities that uprooted Africans from their culture and homeland.
500 Years Later is a timeless compelling journey, infused with the spirit and
music of liberation that chronicles the struggle of a people who have fought and
continue to fight for the most essential human right - freedom.