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A Lot Of People Do It Around The Holidays. Here's Why You Shouldn't.

Just admit it. Kwanzaa has always kind of felt like a knockoff end-of-the-year holiday. Most black people don't even give it any love (I do, of course, but that's just because my parents were persistent.) Maybe it's time to change all that and give a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T and a lot less shade to the little holiday that could.

Lots of well-meaning people make jokes about Kwanzaa.

And yes, some of them are pretty darn funny. But apparently, it isn't just the nice, witty coworkers at your office holiday party who make fun of this stepchild African-American tradition.


*Record scratch* People like Glenn Beck and Ann Coulter have joined the fun, which should be a sign that perhaps we ought to investigate a little further, lest we be seated next to them in "making fun of black things" class.

First things first: What is Kwanzaa?

Kwanzaa is a weeklong secular (nonreligious) holiday that honors and celebrates African heritage, traditions, and culture in African-American life. It is observed annually from Dec. 26 through Jan. 1.

Kwanzaa focuses on seven key principles and commitments (one for each day of the holiday).

  • Umoja (Unity)
  • Kujichagulia (Self-Determination)
  • Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility)
  • Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)
  • Nia (Purpose)
  • Kuumba (Creativity)
  • Imani (Faith)
Each night, a principle is honored with a ceremony, which can include drumming, dancing, singing, eating, and prayer. Pretty amazing, right?

If Kwanzaa is so wonderful — it even has a national stamp! — why isn't it given its due with the other major holidays?

Probably because it's the baby of the bunch. Kwanzaa was created in 1965 by professor, activist, and author Dr. Maulana Karenga. And while most people get that humans created all holidays (even the religious ones) to honor meaningful and special things, thereby making Kwanzaa no less "valid," it's sometimes hard to remember when so few people acknowledge it and the creator is still alive.

Kwanzaa was actually pretty hot in the '80s and '90s. But according to Duke University's Dr. Mark Anthony Neal, Kwanzaa has waned in popularity recently because the energy of the cultural moment in which it was created (the black freedom struggle of the 1960s) has changed. It is much easier to connect with African and uniquely African-American culture today (thanks, Internet!), so there isn't as much of a hunger for a separate holiday.

But that doesn't make it any less dope.

And there is no real reason to slander it. There's no imaginary characters climbing down chimneys, no red-nosed animals flying with toys through the sky. Nothing to see here except a little community, solidarity, and cultural appreciation.

So get it together, folks. Stop the jokes.

Let Jessica Williams from "The Daily Show" and funny woman Phoebe Robinson break it down for you as only two black female millennial comics can: hilariously.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

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Hold on, Frankie! Mama's coming!

How do you explain motherhood in a nutshell? Thanks to Cait Oakley, who stopped a preying bald eagle from capturing her pet goose as she breastfed her daughter, we have it summed up in one gloriously hilarious TikTok.

The now viral video shows the family’s pet goose, Frankie, frantically squawking as it gets dragged off the porch by a bald eagle—likely another mom taking care of her own kiddos.

Wearing nothing but her husband’s boxers while holding on to her newborn, Willow, Oakley dashes out of the house and successfully comes to Frankie's rescue while yelling “hey, hey hey!”

The video’s caption revealed that the Oakleys had already lost three chickens due to hungry birds of prey, so nothing was going to stop “Mama bear” from protecting “sweet Frankie.” Not even a breastfeeding session.

Oakley told TODAY Parents, “It was just a split second reaction ...There was nowhere to put Willow down at that point.” Sometimes being a mom means feeding your child and saving your pet all at the same time.

As for how she feels about running around topless in her underwear on camera, Oakley declared, “I could have been naked and I’m like, ‘whatever, I’m feeding my baby.’”

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