Whatever Happened to Kwanzaa?

Kwanzaa anyone? Is it just me, or does it seem Kwanzaa’s popularity has taken a hit? Over the last decade or so the celebration of this distinctively African American holiday seemed to really picked up momentum, thanks largely to our society’s increased emphasis on diversity and cultural sensitivity. But lately there seems to be less buzz about this 44-year-old Afrocentric festival.

What gives? Philadelphia Daily News columnist Jenice Armstrong ponders this question in her excellent essay at Philly.com. Though it’s hard to put an official figure to exactly how many African Americans celebrate Kwanzaa, conservative estimates place it at between 1 and 2 million people. But, on a personal level, how many of us actually know people who seriously observe Kwanzaa? How many of us really take it seriously?