Kwanzaa is an annual celebration that lasts from December 26th to January 1st, and celebrates the African heritage in African American culture. Those who celebrate Kwanzaa usually do so through singing, dancing, storytelling, poetry reading, african drumming, and of course, feasting.
For each of the seven days of Kwanzaa, one of seven foundational principles are discussed and one candle on the Kinara is lit, starting with the black candle in the center. Each of these principles discussed are reflective of a value of African and African American culture. On the final day of Kwanzaa, an African feast known as kamaru is enjoyed.
The seven principles of Kwanzaa, known as the Nguzo Saba are:
To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.
To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves.
Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility):
To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers’ and sisters’ problems our problems and solve them together.
Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics):
To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.
To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
To always do as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.
This week, take some time to reflect on these principles, and how they may be prevalent in your own life, no matter what you celebrate!
Written by Theo