Black Excellence: Honoring Kwanzaa through Science Fiction and Fantasy

It may be the holiday season, but for many people that goes beyond just Christmas or Hannukah. In my case, it means honoring my ancestors and culture through Kwanzaa. I’ve celebrated Kwanzaa alongside Christmas for nearly two decades now. While I no longer go through the whole ritual of lighting the mishumaa saba (seven candles) in the kinara (candleholder) or setting out the mazao (crops) and kikombe cha umoja (unity cup) on the mkeka (mat), I still try to honor the Nguzo Saba (Seven Principles) on which Kwanzaa was founded. One of the ways I do that is by spending the week of Kwanzaa focusing on work created by African Americans, from television to movies to comics to books to businesses and beyond.

Traditionally, zawadi (Kwanzaa gifts) are given only to kids and always include a book and a heritage symbol. Now, most of you aren’t children, but this year ...