If it’s odd or foreign for you to hear Kwanzaa mentioned in conversations about the holidays, 2020 might be a time to read up about it.
Sure, with its origins in the Black Power and Civil Rights movement, the holiday is pretty new in comparison to other December holidays like Christmas and Hanukkah. But with so many of its traditions based on the celebration of individuals with African roots, 2020 ought to be the year you consider contemplating the importance of Kwanzaa particularly because of its celebration of African American communities and those across the world with links to Africa.
Particularly because 2020 has seen so much attention being poured over the Black community for the first time amidst protests and calls for justice.
Unlike other holidays in December Kwanzaa is not centered on commercialism and embraces Black power.
Only a small portion of the African American population actually celebrates Kwanzaa. And unlike the other holidays it stands next to Kwanzaa is grounded rooted in recognizing the diaspora. According to The Guardian, “Kwanzaa (literally, “Harvest,”) is a seven-day commemoration and call to action innovated by Dr Maulana Ron Karenga in 1966. That Kwanzaa was born amidst social and cultural unrest – as both segregation ended and urban unrest in reaction to poverty and police brutality sparked rebellion – should speak volumes to us 48 years later. Kwanzaa is organized around seven days of reflection and action based on the Nguzo Saba (the Seven Principles).”
The principles include Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (Self-Determination), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity), and Imani (Faith).”
The holiday draws on familiar holiday tropes including candle lighting and meals. Sometimes even gift-giving.
As The Guardian notes, “it also occurs at the time of year that was once the only full respite allowed enslaved blacks – a time that usually coincided with the end of the harvest.”
Kwanzaa is a holiday that celebrates the power and endurance of the Black community. Unlike the other December holidays, it also encourages those who take part to reflect on the struggles and successes of the Balck community in particular. And not just for those who are African American. Communities of color across the globe are standing up for Black people and defending their humanity. Kwanzaa is another way to remember that #BlackLivesMatter and to embrace and celebrate the movement, its history, and its victories as well.
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, which means it’s time to cue the balloons, bouquet of red roses and pink and heart everything! The truth is, even as one of the most manufactured and cheesy holidays, Valentine’s Day can be a wonderful way to remind the person in your life that you love them.
And while it often seems like the pressure has to solely be on one partner, it’s also a time of year for us all to step up.
Fortunately, Reddit is teeming with ideas for Valentine’s Day gifts for men.
Check it out below!
“I was in college (22M). I a girl I had known since high school had a crush on me and I could tell. She was a student at the same university and we would occasionally meet our group of friends for lunch. This little gathering had gone on for several semesters and we all knew each other quite well. This girl had a really rough life and a learning disability that prevented her from reading social situations and advancing in her studies. I had been trough an incredibly difficult break up the previous semester and was looking at a lonely Valentine’s day. I am not sure if she was told by a mutual friend or if she took her own initiative but she got me a little sucker bouquet in a coffee mug for me. I have a really bad sweet tooth and am a coffee addict so this was the perfect gift. We ended up getting lunch just the two of us and had a great time. I will always remember how much fun I had.” –Brighter_Lighter
“My girlfriend made me a comic book of us and all of our adventures. Yes I cried.” –FireButchJones
“When I first started dating my now fiance, we worked together, along with her ex. When he found out we were dating he tried talking to me in the breakroom, and casually talked shit, saying shes clingy, etc. Then he said “You know, I would tell you some more stuff but im afraid you’d chirp (while making a talking hand gesture)”. He tried to act ghetto to the point where I was embarrassed for him. That became an inside joke between me and her, and I started saying stuff mockingly, like ‘Im gonna chirp up in this bitch’ and ‘Im chirping in the trap.’ Then it turned into us creating comics back and forth called “The Adventures of Chirp and Trap”. Everyday one of us would draw a comic, and the other would continue the story. Chirp was a bird who usually wore either a cowboy hat or a Rambo outfit, and Trap was a bird in a cage. I think we still have them somewhere, but one of the funniest ones was Chirp having to rescue Trap from a Dothraki horde.” –Treegs
“Every year, my mom makes this cookie cake with chocolate and strawberries and it’s the best thing ever. That’s the only ‘gift’ I’ve ever gotten for Valentine’s day (so far) Edit: forgot to take a picture of the first one but luckily she made an extra mini one this year. This is the first time she’s added the white chocolate, and it’s usually in the shape of a heart, but here it is.” –Zaquarius_Alfonzo
“Not a gf, but one time my parents bought me a box of slim jims as a kid and it lasted me until May. Was great.
I’ll marry the next woman who buys me a big ass box of slim jims.” –
“My parents would get me valentines day presents all the time! One year was a restaurant sized tub of ketchup (since I really loved ketchup at the time). It was both useful and fun! Though we threw it out before I finished it off, because the bottom of the tub was beginning to be a bit… off.
I’ve never gotten anything for valentines day not from my parents.” –
“A letter telling me all that she loves about me and how I treat her. It was the best. Her birthday was a couple of days after so it was very hard making her feel loved and appreciated like I felt when I gave her a shitty valentines gift.
The second best has to be nothing (different partner). Literal nothing. I bought her some of her favorite candy. But it was great because it really showed how our relationship was and I knew she wasn’t the right one for me and I wasn’t the one for her. She dumped me a couple days later. Couldn’t say I was surprised.” –cbarnes15
“one year a girl i was dating just sent me a big long message basically a letter telling me she wished she could be there with me (long distance relationship) and i was going through a rough patch and really drove home how much she cared about me and it was really beautiful, she was really good at making me feel special. i tried to do the same but i guess im just not good at it, i mailed her a letter i had written with her favorite candy but yeah the relationship eventually fell apart and i feel bad i couldn’t get across how strongly i felt about her.” –alchupanebra
“I got a steak, bourbon, a jump rope, and a bag of dorotos. I gave her a “sexy/naughty” calendar of me doing household chores wearing only an apron, a week of nightly foot rubs, I made her cinnamon rolls from scratch, and I hid 50 Ferrero Rocher around the house.” –Raininglemur
“I made a friend of mine who is a single woman a computer “game” that turned her xbox controller into a vibrator. I included all sorts of preset patterns too so that with button presses or voice commands you could change it up.” –
“I feel like I’m the only one who likes to give foot rubs. I think it’s a good work out for my grip strength and ladies love em. Like just ask and I’ll gladly give one. My ex didn’t like her feet touched though so I rarely gave them.” –drsquires
“It was junior year and my psychology class was doing a secret Santa type thing but for Valentine’s Day since we were close. I got a girl who I was fine with giving a gift to. Drew her a nice rose, wrote something cute and gave her chocolates, not a lot. What I got from another girl was pretty impressive. I got a nice handwritten card, a jar of kisses, and a bunch of candy put into a cute bag. Now, I was antisocial af and this was completely unexpected. I was expecting her to give me like a chocolate bar or something but nah, she gave me the entire bag! Such a friendly girl, wish her the best in her college life now.
I also got a valentines gram which had chocolates sent to me anonymously but I already knew it was this one girl a grade above me that sent it. Weird cause I’m usually the one that never gets shit.” –Reddit User
“When I was in high school from my first serious girlfriend. My first valentine’s day in a relationship. We had been dating about five months at the time.
I ask her what she wants for valentine’s day. She says she doesn’t want anything, just a dinner with me (I already had reservations). I ask her again, incredulously, “you don’t want anything, not even flowers?”
“No, I don’t want anything.”
“Are you sure? No flowers?”
“Don’t get me flowers.”
So… I don’t get her anything except chocolate and a dinner reservation. Definitely no flowers.
At the end of the day, she is upset she hasn’t gotten any flowers delivered. I tell her that I didn’t get her any, she told me not to. She cries, and tells me not to talk to her. Refuses to answer my calls. We don’t go out to dinner, and I spend valentine’s day alone.
My gift? One of the greatest lessons I have ever learned – don’t take women literally, it’s a trap.
“My sophomore year of high school some girl who I really hadn’t thought much of gave me a card that read “To: Cute boy, you have a really nice smile”. We hung out a bit after that but things didn’t go to great (long story). Anyways that one valentine started a chain reaction that ended some serious depression I had and now I smile more often.” –supeguy212
Mia Ponsetto, 22, has been in for a lesson on entitlement and how being Latino does not automatically grant you asylum when it comes to being racist. Mia Ponsetto
Earlier in July, Ponsetto gained national attention and managed to distract everyone from their holiday break this past week when her racist behavior was captured on video. In an incident posted to Instagram the day after Christmas, Ponsetto could be seen attacking the 14-year-old son of trumpeter Keyon Harrold after falsely accusing him of stealing her iPhone.
The family of the Black teenager who was falsely accused of stealing Ponsetto’s cellphone is suing his accuser and the hotel.
According to reports, Ponsetto, the Arlo Hotel and Chad Nathan, a manager at the hotel, are among the defendants listed in the lawsuit. The lawsuit accuses Ponsetto and Nathan of engaging in racial profiling and the the hotel of negligence.
The lawsuit claims that Nathan “detained the plaintiffs and demanded that Keyon Harrold Jr. surrender his cellphone” and that “defendants treated plaintiffs differently from other guests and invitees in a place of public accommodation because of their race … The only difference between plaintiffs Keyon Harrold and Keyon Harrold Jr. and the other guests who were not targeted by defendants Chad Nathan and Miya Ponsetto was the color of their skin.”
Miya Ponsetto was taken into custody on a warrant from New York after a brief car chase with police in California.
According to New York Daily News police used physical force to restrain Ponsetto. “They had to pull her out of the car. They did use physical force,” Eric Buschow, a spokesman for the sheriff’s department explained. “She tried to slam the door on the leg of one of our deputies and so she was forcibly removed from the vehicle.”
Two officers with NYPD’s Manhattan South detective bureau were sent to California on Wednesday to work with LA police to find Ponsetto, question her and convince her to return to New York with them.
“I have no clue if she’s in custody. I had a difficult day with her. We had an interview lined up, and within 10 to 15 minutes, I realized she was not well, not mentally fit to do any interviews,” Ponsetto’s lawyer, Sharen Ghatan said “So I’m not surprised this has happened if she’s in custody. I haven’t heard it. She was very much MIA for a while, and when she finally came to the big interview, it was clear to me she shouldn’t be there. I’m concerned for her wellbeing.”
Now according to reports, she’s getting a bit of a break.
Recently it was revealed that a charge of public intoxication stemming from an altercation at a Beverly Hills hotel last year has been dropped.
According to the New York Post, Ponsetto had her case in LA County Court dismissed on Jan. 28 after her lawyer made the argument that it was an isolated incident in which she had no previous criminal history in California.
Ponsetto’s mother, Nicole also appeared in court that day for battery charges on a police officer in the incident. She pled no contest and was sentenced to 100 hours of community service. She also reportedly entered a 12-month diversion program.
In response, Harrold Sr. is reinvigorating efforts for the hotel to take responsibility for the Dec. 26 attack.
In an effort to ensure justice, Harrold Sr. has shared his experience again. In an effort to reinvigorate attention to the case brought against her. Harrold Sr. and his family hired civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump and have had several rallies in New York City calling for justice.
Video of Miya Ponsetto fighting with cops during a DUI arrest weeks before her assault of Keyon Harrold, Jr. has surfaced.
In the video of the incident that took place on Oct. 3 outside of a Chevron gas station. Ponsetto can be seen acting out against police officers attempting to detain her after confirming she was intoxicated. Ponsetto’s mom, Nicole Ponsetto, can also be seen.
In the video, Ponsetto resists the efforta of an officer to place her in cuffs.
“I’m not even touching you,” she screams. “You are asking for literally a lawsuit. I didn’t do anything to you.”
“I just think you guys are like a joke,” Ponsetto says at one point while pinned to the ground. “There are gang members that are killing people right now and you’re arresting a girl?”
In a virtual interview with CBS This Morning host Gayle King that took place hours before her arrest, Miya Ponsetto wore a Daddy hat.
During an interview, which her lawyer sat in on, Ponsetto told Gayle King, “I admit, I could have approached the situation differently, or maybe not yelled at him like that or made him feel … inferior, or like I was hurting his feelings.”
Later, as King pressed Ponsetto to admit she had grossly misbehaved, Ponsetto insisted she was just. girl. “OK, so basically I’m a 22-year-old girl. Racism, uh, is … how is one girl accusing a guy about a phone a crime?” Eventually she snapped at Gayle’s questioning saying “alright Gayle, enough!” She even flounced a hand at Gayle while her lawyer attempted to get her to reel it in.
No doubt, Ponsetto’s decision to wear a hat with slang referring to the authority of a man was poorly made. It was also extremely disrespectful considering that she did so knowing that she would be in the presence of a well-known and respected Black journalist who had offered her a chance to redeem herself with an interview. Ponsetto’s hat proves to be a representation of her character: a privileged woman, making no attempts to endear herself to a woman of color who worked hard to get where she is despite the many ways the world has tried to hold her back.
In response to her interview, the 14-year-old Keyon Harrold, Jr.’s parents say they don’t buy her apology one bit.
Speaking to CBS This Morning host Gayle King in a later interview Keyon Harrold, Sr. explained that he felt “her apology was, you know, as genuine as when she shushed you. It said a lot. I have an issue with the idea of entitlement versus character.”
“‘I apologize. Can we move on?’ Those were the exact words that she used with you,” Kat Rodriguez, Keyon’s mother, said in another interview. “Does that sound like an apology? She knew she assaulted a 14-year-old boy. Not a guy, not a man.”
The incident took place at the Arlo SoHo boutique hotel where Harrold and his son were guests at the hotel located in lower Manhattan. In the video, Ponsetto can be seen confronting Harrold and his son with accusations of theft. In the post to Instagram, Harrold explained that he and his son had left their room in the hotel to get breakfast and had just left the elevator when the woman confronted them. In the video, Ponsetto could be seen and heard demanding Harrold’s son, Keyon Harrold Jr., to show her his phone.
In response, Harrold Jr. told Ponsetto “this is my phone” to which his father told him that he did not have to explain himself to the woman. Ponsetto then came closer and demanded to an interviewing hotel guest that the case be taken off the phone.
“Literally get it back for me, please,” Ponsetto says in the video to the manager who then asked the teen to see the phone before his father could intervene. “I’m trying to settle this situation,” the manager claimed in the video, to which Harrold explained he was only making it worse.
After Harrold and his son attempt to leave the situation the woman followed after them saying, “I’m not letting him walk away with my phone.”
Security footage shows her tackling Harrold Jr. to the ground. When she approaches them again the teen’s father shouts for her to get her hands off of his son before the video cuts out.
In his post to Instagram, Harrold claimed that Ponsetto scratched him and grabbed his son. Harrold later told NBC that after the video cut off, Ponsetto, “tackled my son, you know, trying to reach in his pockets, reach in my pockets.”
According to NYPD, moments after the incident, Ponsetto’s phone was returned to her at the hotel by a ride-share vehicle she used.
Harrold told NYPD that he suffered slight injuries but his son was not injured.
“I don’t know what would have happened if my Dad wasn’t there, honestly,” Harrold Jr. explained before stating that if ever presented with an opportunity to speak to Ponsetto, he’d want an apology.
Speaking about the incident at a rally, Harrold noted that the entire incident was emotionally damaging for his son and could have become even worse had he not been with his son when it all occurred. “I want my son to grow up whole. That’s all we want. … I come from Ferguson and this has been my passport to the world,” Harrold explained, referring to his trumpet and the doors his career in music has opened for him. Harold has played at the White House, and contributed to recordings by JAY-Z, Beyoncé, Anthony Hamilton, Mary J. Blige, and Maxwell. “And I can’t even come downstairs in New York City … and just go get brunch without being attacked and wrongfully accused of something.”
Harrold Jr.’s mother, Kat Rodriguez, also noted that hotel management was culpable in the incident after failing to de-escalate the situation as well as for allowing Ponsetto to leave the scene before police arrived. She also demanded that Ponsetto be charged with assault.
“This fight is not only for our son. It’s for all of our sons and daughters,” Rodriguez explained. “If we were a family that didn’t have these connections … if I was a maid, this story wouldn’t have hit the news. What about those people that don’t get to get heard?”
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke out about the incident last Thursday and remarked that the woman should face charges. “You have a teenager here who did nothing wrong, who was clearly profiled because he was young and male and Black,” he told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on New Day. “That is racism pure and simple, that is unacceptable in this city, in this country.”
Keyon Harrold Jr. is now seeking therapy for the incident. Harrold told TMZ recently that his son “wonders if he’s good enough to own an iPhone, or whether he’s out of place at a nice hotel.”
Ponsetto has since disputed the accusations against her using her ethnicity as a defense.
The NYPD is currently attempting to track Ponsetto down for assaulting Harrold Jr. On Jan. 1, the New York Post confronted Ponsetto in a video and asked her about the incident to which Ponsetto replied “I don’t know what the problem is here,” she replied.
When asked once again if she had any regrets about the incident, Ponsetto replied, “I’m good, thank you. Have a very good day. Take care of yourself.” “I’m actually 22 so I don’t know what the problem is here,” she added again. “And I’m also Puerto Rican so thank you. Take care of yourself.”
In a statement, about the incident, Arlo Hotels agreed that “more could have been done to de-escalate the dispute.”
“We’re deeply disheartened about the recent incident of baseless accusation, prejudice, and assault against an innocent guest of Arlo hotel,” the statement said. “In investigating the incident further, we’ve learned that the manager on duty promptly called the police regarding the woman’s conduct and that hotel security intervened to prevent further violence …. No Arlo guest — or any person — should be subject to this kind of behavior.”