"If somebody sends me a Kwanzaa card, I just tear it up," she said.
Brown's hostility had much, if not everything, to do with the founder/creator of Kwanzaa, Professor Ron Karenga, whose 1960s group US (for United Slaves) was involved in the assassination of one of Brown's beloved friends, Black Panther John Huggings, in California.
Since that incident, Karenga's group was said to have had links to the FBI (as did many groups of the era, allegedly) and Karenga himself spent time in prison for the assault of a female US member.
Founded back in 1966, Karenga's Kwanzaa has grown enormously in popularity and is recognized as the Christmas feast of African-Americans.
The American Museum of Natural History in New York, for one, is hosting a special Kwanzaa event this coming Sunday. (See here for details.) And beginning today, Dec. 26, through Jan. 1, homes, churches and a multitude of public places will feature the lighting of candles and profession of the Kwanzaa principles that include unity, self-determination, faith and other values.
But the celebration remains a source of controversy among a number of African-Americans, even those who do not necessarily have the same radical political past of Elaine Brown.
One thoughtful expression of cultural discontent was on the popular website, The Root.
In signing off here, we say, despite it all, Happy Kwanzaa (and Merry Christmas, and Happy Hannukah and Seasons Greetings.)
[Above photo: Tech. Sgt. Jennifer Myers, a noncommissioned officer in charge of the U.S. Military Equal Opportunity office, lights a Kwanzaa candle. Photo is by Christopher Myers.]