Frequently Asked Questions
ISN’T KWANZAA A MADE UP HOLIDAY?
Yes. All holidays are made up. Even though Kwanzaa has only been in existence for 50 years, the literal translation, “first fruits of harvest,” is a tradition that is present in many religions. The principles and foundation of Kwanzaa were adapted from African principles, traditions and culture, and there's nothing new about coming together to celebrate the people you love in your community.
WHAT DOES KWANZAA HAVE TO DO WITH THIS BAR CRAWL?
This crawl embodies all 7 principles of Kwanzaa. Kwanzaa Crawl is about bringing people in the community together, or Umoja, which means (Unity).
A team of Black and brown creatives used the resources available to them in order to make an event of this scale happen. That’s both Kujichagulia (Self Determination) and Ujima (collective work and responsibility).
Kwanzaa Crawl creates an opportunity for black people to harness their buying power, and that’s Ujamaa (cooperative economics).
The planning, marketing, writing, and designing demonstrated Kuumba (creativity).
Creating an event which focuses on investing in your community to improve your quality of life is Nia (purpose).
Getting the owners of over 25 bars to open up for business on the day after Christmas, with the hope that the community will show up is Imani (faith).
WHY A KWANZAA CRAWL?
It’s an extension of Operation Mobilize’s mission to harness black buying power and establish "best practices” for supporting the black local economy. They are committed to highlighting how those practices can be implemented through our everyday actions.
Given the spending of black consumers and Kwanzaa’s emphasis on supporting black culture, and taking into consideration that many Black people don’t know much about Kwanzaa, this crawl is an opportunity to educate people and make Kwanzaa cool again.
WHO IS OPERATION MOBILIZE?
Operation Mobilize is a grassroots organization founded by comedian/writer Kerry Coddett (@Overfab) in July 2016, alongside her talent manager and former ad exec, Krystal Stark. The duo operate as a think tank, who collaborate and brainstorm actionable and tangible ways that everyday people can become involved in their community. Once they’ve found a new initiative, they take to the streets, mobilizing the masses to take action in whatever shape it may be, getting help from tons of friends and volunteers along the way.
WHO IS KERRY CODDETT?
Kerry Coddett [Cah-dit] is a New York based comedian, actress, and writer. She recently became a staff writer for Wyatt Cenac's new late night show on HBO, which is executive produced by John Oliver. She'll also appear on season 2 of HBO’s Crashing. Kerry has made appearances on BET's The Rundown w/ Robin Thede and performed stand up on 50 Central. Earlier this year, she won the 11th Annual Caroline's Comedy Madness competition, beating out 63 other comics in a 5-week, NCAA tournament style competition. Previously, Kerry has been featured on Tru TV's Comedy Knockout and has been on Comedy Central's The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore. Touted as "inimitable" by The Huffington Post and as "a rising star" by The Interrobang, Kerry offers a uniquely unapologetic perspective that is both irreverent and insightful.
Kerry often uses her comedic platform to bring awareness to the issues that concern her. She wrote the first historical account of SNL’s lack of diversity that helped serve as the impetus for the show’s hiring of three new black comediennes; to challenge racial biases perpetuated by the media, Kerry penned an article for the Huffington Post called “White on White Crime” that has gone viral; and, she organized a series of comedy shows at New York City homeless shelters to share the gift of laughter during the holiday season. She is also the founder of Operation Mobilize, a community-based organization, whose most recent initiative, Kwanzaa Crawl, was a historic bar crawl that drew over 1,600 people to support black owned businesses in Brooklyn.
Learn more here: Kerry Coddett