I am so confused.
This is a Kwanzaa hymn. The only one we have, apparently.
It is placed in this second source section, between In Time to Come and Freedom. I understand, from a sources point of view, why this isn’t slipped in between the Christmas and Epiphany hymns, but still.
Its lyrics (which are shockingly generic UU, except for “the lights of Kwanzaa”) are from an anonymous source, without even a clue from Between the Lines where they were found.
Its tune a very lovely little piece written by UU Musicians Network stalwart Betty Jo Angelbranndt (may she rest in peace), but definitely, if I may be so bold, a white people’s tune. For Christmas.
I am so confused. Kwanzaa is a celebration of African heritage in African American culture. And all we can manage is an anonymous lyric set to a white composer’s Christmas hymn?
I’m very confused. And awfully ashamed of us.
When all the peoples on this earth know deep inside their precious worth
when every single soul is free, we’ll earn the name Humanity.
The choice to be the best we can begins the day we say, “I am.”
The unity for which we sigh will never come through hate or lie.
The lights of Kwanzaa now proclaim that when we share our inner flame
and nurture root and branch with pride, we’ll harvest peace both far and wide.
Dear Anyone who might be on the next Hymnal Commission:
the rest of us.