Kwanzaa: A way of life

Image In case you care, here’s a brief summary of Kwanzaa:

If you are like most Americans you have no clue what Kwanzaa is. Kwanzaa is a new and to some nearly extinct African American holiday. It was created in 1966 to be the only exclusive African American holiday. It begins the day after Christmas and continues until New Years. The best way I can summarize it is like this: During the last week of the year it’s a time for families to reflect on themselves before the new year. Each day you look at one aspect of yourself and your family and focus on improving it. Each day has a traditional African name to tie it to African roots. These are Kwanzaa’s Seven Principles:

Umoja (Unity): To strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.

Kujichagulia (Self-Determination): 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 to solve them together.
Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics): To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.
Nia (Purpose): To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
Kuumba (Creativity): To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.

Imani (Faith): To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

My family has celebrated Kawanzaa for four years now.  It’s my favorite holiday! Although we’re ALWAYS missing something, it drives home the points we strive to emphasize. It positions my family  so that they know what is expected of them for the upcoming year, self acknowledgement of  where they failed or succeeded last year and gives us a moment to realize how much our we have to give thanks for each family member and friend including the ones that aren’t walking among us. I LOVE Kawanzaa!

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2 thoughts on “Kwanzaa: A way of life

  1. Ahhh very interesting! I look forward to partaking in Kwanzaa this year. It will be my first so I’m unsure of where to begin exactly but fortunately I have the internet to give me the basics… as your article did. Thx for sharing =) Happy Kwanzaa!!

    • I’m happy you enjoyed the message Jessica. Without a doubt,once you learn everything you can about Kwanzaa, the more you’ll LOVE it. I can’t wait to hear about how you will be celebrating it.

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