The African Cultural Calendar is based on the history and culture of our people. The calendars that our ancestor created are at its foundation. In the Nile Valley, the year had twelve months with 365 1/4 days and it was divided into three seasons of four months each. These are features that the African Cultural Calendar has emulated. The African Cultural Calendar is not like the calendars that are used today but it is very much like the calendars of our ancestors.
I had lots of thoughts about time before I thought of the African Cultural Calendar. The idea of the African Cultural Calendar first occurred to me while I was reading a Martin Luther King Jr.’s (MLK) speech. In the speech, MLK made a comment about Jesus. He said that Jesus was so powerful that he divided time into two. I have since tried to find the speech and have been unsuccessful. So, it is entirely possible that I misread MLK’s words. Regardless, that’s where the idea started. When I read the line about Jesus dividing time, I paused and wondered, if MLK were speaking about African people, what would he had said cause time to be divided into two.
The African Cultural Calendar (Africalendar) combines both our history and the purpose of a calendar to tell our people’s story in time. A year in the Africalendar is a journey through our history from the Nile Valley to the diaspora. The months in the Africalendar represent our history from the beginning to the current time. The first month is called Kemet. Kemet is from our beginning; it is one of the first great societies our ancestors built. The year in the Africalendar ends with a renewal period called Kwanzaa. With the African Cultural Calendar, we journey through our history and cultures as time flows from Kemet to Kwanzaa.
The African Cultural Calendar measures time in two periods. The first period is called “before the diaspora (btd)” and the current period is “of the diapora (otd)”. The diaspora is that event in our history, which has split time into two. It began when our enemies were able to divide our family and convinced some of our ancestors to stand with them against us; to help them achieve their goals.
There is no other calendar, which is a celebration of the history and cultures of African people. In the African Cultural Calendar, there are a number of special days called “Cultural Days”. These Cultural Days will not be found in the colonial calendar. These days are meant to honor the events and people who fought for us against our oppressors.