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. One of the first Cultural Day in the African Cultural Calendar is John Chilembwe’s Day. John Chilembwe’s Day is an official recognized holiday in the part of the diaspora called Malawi. But John Chilembwe should be celebrated throughout the diaspora. His actions demonstrated what actions we need to prioritize and what steps we need to take to gain our freedom. That’s the reason he is a “Beacon of the Way”. John Chilembwe was a preacher who put aside the bible to lead a rebellion to free his people. He was a giant who started out hoping that the bible was the way and ended up demonstrating that standing up, not kneeling, is the only path to freedom. John Chilembwe’s Cultural day is the same as the day the government declared, Kemet 15th.
The African Cultural Calendar does not only have Cultural Days. It celebrates our history. Events such as when the Zulus were at Isandlwana, when the Ethiopians were at Adwa or the day of the Golden Stool are celebrated in the African Cultural Calendar. These events demonstrated how Africans fought to preserve their history and cultures. The African Cultural Calendar remembers events such as those and uses them to paint time in our image. There are many things to be learnt from the struggle over the Golden Stool. That struggle shone a light on a small part of our history, showing us a well-developed society that our ancestors built. It also speak to the equality of our men and women. The Cultural Day of the Golden Stool reminds us that the ancestors fought for over 100 years to preserve the world they had built. The Golden Stool is celebrated in the African Cultural Calendar on Meroe 30th. Cultural Days give us the opportunity to focus on our cultures, focus on our history and to do it every day. Cultural Days are days to pour libation for the ancestors who made the best trouble and never gave up the fight for our freedom. Those ancestors were “Beacons of the Way”, whose spirits light our path to freedom. On these days, we not only pour libation, but we also read their books, quote their words. That’s what we do on Carter G. Woodson’s Cultural Day, Nubia 1. We honour this great ancestor, the father of Black History Month, by pour libation, reading his books and quoting his words. His spirit still lights the path, he was a Beacon of the Way, who fought to liberate our minds. Cultural Days are like Black Love Days. Days when we focus our love on ourselves, honour our ancestors and celebrate our history.
Let’s not wait for governments to tell us who we should celebrate. We would like to see the Barbados Government declares Axum 15 to Axum 17, the days when Bussa was on the battlefield, as three days of freedom from all work on the Island (with pay) especially for the domestics. Domestics in countries like Barbados are most like our ancestors who were forced to clean up after others. This would be the best way to honour Bussa. Giving his people the thing, he fought for. We would love to see the U. S. Government declares a Nat Turner Holiday or perhaps put his image on the $5, $10, or $50 bill. But we know that no amount of peaceful protest, no amount of marching, no amount of singing on Capitol Hill will get a sitting president, neither Republican nor Democratic, to declare a holiday for Nat Turner or to honour him in any way. We would like to see days for Fanon and Toussaint, for our scholars and rebels, for our people who made the best trouble. We would like to see the afrimonth Quilombo declared the month that celebrates rebellions, uprisings and overthrowing of our oppressors. But government will not do that for us and we should not wait. We can’t expect our oppressors to do it for us that why we cannot wait for governments. We do not have to wait. Waiting is expecting others to do for us, what we can do for ourselves. Celebrating our ancestors is our responsibility and that’s why Nzinga 24 in the African Cultural Calendar is a Cultural Day for Nat Turner. It is Nat Turner’s Day. A day we honour his rebellious spirit and pour libation for him.
African people all over the world have been celebrating special days without the permission of our oppressors. We were in Harlem one year in the afrimonth Ghana (May) when a group of brothers and sisters were celebrating Malcolm X day and were demanding that the storekeepers in Harlem close in honour of his birthday. Now, there is a Malcolm X day celebrated on Ghana 22 each year. It is one of the days that will be found in the African Cultural Calendar that you will not find listed on the colonial calendar. Malcolm X’s Day is not an official day or holiday like Martin Luther King, Jr.’s day but that does not matter for as long as there are brother and sisters who are willing to pour out libation our ancestors they will never be forgotten. What the brothers and sisters in Harlem were demonstrating was that we should not expect others to do for us, what we can do for ourselves. We do not need a government agency in the system that oppresses us to dictate who we should celebrate or to sanctify our celebrations. We don’t need authorization from anyone to honour our people. It is in the spirit of those Harlem brothers and sisters that the African Cultural Calendar lists as many as possible special days in honour our great ancestors. Cultural Days, official and unofficial, authorized and unauthorized are days when we take a moment to pour libation for those ancestors who fought for us and whose spirits still light the path that leads to our freedom.
At times an individual celebrated by the African Cultural Calendar would be recognized by a government with an official day. That happened recently with Sam Sharpe. Sam Sharpe, the ancestor who lived in the part of the diaspora known as Jamaica, was given an official day in 504 otd by the Jamaican Government. AfriCalendar Publications first published the African Cultural Calendar in 484 otd. In that calendar, Sam Sharpe, the African who led a fight for the freedom of our people been held in Jamaica, Cultural Day was listed at Ghana 24. This was the day that the African Cultural Calendar had reserved to honour this ancestor. To pour libation and to reflect on his actions, to hold him up to our children as someone whose footsteps they should walk in. In 504 otd the Jamaica Government declared an official day for Sam Sharpe. It was long overdue and the African Cultural Calendar going forward would list Sam Sharpe’s Cultural Day as the day the Jamaican Government has chosen, Kwanzaa 5, (Nia) (December 27).
Some of the Cultural Days in the African Cultural Calendar will never become official government recognized day. The Nat Turner’s Cultural Day is an example. Nat Turner and ancestors like Nat Turner should be among our favorite ancestors. Those ancestors exemplified that we could overcome our miseducation and thereafter act in way that served the best interest of out people. Nat Turner was trouble to the oppressors but not “good trouble”. That means he was the kind of trouble that only Beacons of the Way could make.