“Before You Read On …”
“The Background and Motivation of The Author”
To establish a ‘backdrop,’ and thus provide you with a sense of the importance, and the necessity of this writing, we should start by depicting the background of the Author. As a young Black female, growing up in humble surroundings, it was not unusual, and almost natural, for her to develop an early interest in community affairs. Being raised in a single-parent family situation, as many of us were, with her parents coming from a Southern background, the plight of the ‘Negroes,’ as was the term applied to ‘Black folks’ back then, was a common social issue.
It was, in fact, difficult to avoid the existence of such issues, being exposed to the elements of the inner cities across the country, where almost an entire generation of slaves’ descendants sought refuge from the bigotry and hatred, as well as atrocities, in many cases, bestowed upon them by the White populace, who controlled the environments from which many Black folks fled, hoping for better experiences, however, unfortunately they found the same type of environment as in the South.
This was the 50’s and 60’s, the pre-Civil-Rights Era, whereas, at that time, and yet up to today, Jet Magazine always had articles that brought out the sometimes, incomprehensible deeds put upon ‘Negroes,’ by the Totally-White-controlled system. This included some of the injustices that occurred in the ‘South’ (i.e. Mississippi, Alabama (The home of George Wallace, who was one of the most outspoken proponents of segregation at that time, though actually at one time, Governor of the State) and throughout the Southern United States.
At that time, little was said, but, to those inhabitants of the ‘inner-city,’ much was known, of the many such injustices like those that happened ‘down south,’ which were occurring in the ‘non-southern’ states, including California, in particular, Los Angeles. The city of Los Angeles Police Department was eventually noted as one of the most corrupt, bigoted, and brutal of police organizations in the United States.
Having personal experiences with the Author (who has ‘commissioned’ me to write this ‘Introduction,’ whereas I am honored to offer any contribution, herein) specifically in encounters with the ‘LAPD,’ it is easy to see where, she, and others having the same spirit of justice and fair play, had hoped to see it get better than what was the ‘norm’ at the time, would have been interested in any opportunity to work to; ‘fix’ the issue.
Having been reared in Watts/South Central L.A., Barbara had witnessed a lot of injustices that African Americans had suffered from encounters with the LAPD. Her contributions, in spite of what may be written in modest terms in the pages that follow, would be far-reaching, and ever-lasting to many of whom were fortunate enough to come in contact with her, over a lifetime of dedication to the uplifting and enlightening of the children (and sometimes adults) of this electric society.
The above sets the stage for the reason/s why the Author was exposed to/involved with the US Organization, and eventually became close to it’s founder, Ron Karenga, a.k.a. Ronald Everett, and was also designer and ultimate influence behind the Black American communities ‘romance’ with the concept of the celebration of Kwanzaa… derived, though not totally, from a Swahili (which the Author taught in the US Afro-American School of Culture) phrase ‘matunda ya kwanza’ … which means ‘the first of the fruits.’ The extra ‘a’ was added to the term, for reasons we won’t get into here, and the concept was, ‘born.’
Unwittingly, to this writer, the word ‘romance’ came to mind in the previous paragraph, (Un) expectedly due to a subconscious, thus, natural, personal perspective and opinion of the ultimate fate of the Kwanzaa concept. This would be, in part, due to exposure to some of the insights shared by the Author, in conjunction with a personal knowledge of the principles and conventions being taught to and pursued by today’s Christian populace.
The background involving the perpetrator, and the common knowledge of his involvement in certain historical events, (which are somewhat ‘common’ knowledge,) also plays a part in the derived perspective.
The community played a major role in the need and development of such a mind-set, which is a positive addition to an otherwise culturally disconnected society such as were the original ‘slaves’ living in this country in the early 1800’s. The ‘re-connection’ that is brought about by the ‘concepts of pride and dignity,’ that had been evasive to the Black Ameican’s culture since, and in spite of, the Emancipation Proclamation, although, there are still semblance/s of the same disconnect in some levels of our culture.
Several philosophies over the decades have preached and prompted the same ‘credo,’ that of pride and dignity in our Black heritage/culture have also contributed to the positive effect/s, and thus, one of the reasons for this writing. It will all be more readily discernable, as you, the reader progress thru this informed and opinionated documentation of the truth.
Another of the ‘philosophies’ that promoted such pride and dignity, which took ‘roots’ way before the advent of ‘Kwanzaa-ism,’ would be that of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the teachings of the Holy Bible. This is a prelude to the beginnings of such an endeavor to ‘clear the air’ and thus make the case that there is only one True Provider of the enduring love, which is fostered by faith and dedication, which only God can offer.
That enduring love from Almighty God is the same as that whereby the ‘First Fruits’ of any population which believes in Him, would be reaped in abundance. It is almost a sin to allow any other such celebration or concept of thankfulness, although positive elements of the practice have had their ‘place in the sun,’ to impose upon and impact the timeframe historically allotted to celebrate the Birth, and everlasting love of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
We are concerned that those who practice the ‘Kwanzaa celebration,’ unknowingly might be lost, and thus miss the glorious rewards for living a life of faith, that God has promised those who follow Him, and His Son. The details, having true, eyewitness accountability, will help you the reader, make a determination based on the true facts, using your own reason and values.
The Late, Lance (Lanny) Mitchell Porter,
Real Estate Entrepreneur and
Former Professional Singer
1945 - 2017
(My Friend & Brother in Jesus Christ For Sixty-One Years).