Kwanzaa ain’t nothing new...it's something that has been around for a number of years. Growing up, I'm sure you have seen the pictures and candles and maybe celebrated the holiday when you were in grade school or even with your family.
However, Kwanzaa has resonated with me a little differently this year compared to previous years. Recently, I’ve been all about Black Unity, Black Expression, Black Love and Black Wealth. Pretty much, anything that deals with Blackness, I'm down for it. And I think Kwanzaa and its 7 Principles definitely fits in that “Blackness” category.
Before I jump into this, I want to give you a little historical information about the holiday. Kwanzaa was created by Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1966 as a way to restore and reaffirm African culture for Black folks in the US. The name Kwanzaa is derived from the Swahili phrase “matunda ya kwanza,” which means “first fruits.” This cultural holiday embodies the notion of celebrating family, community and culture and is typically celebrated with other holiday traditions, such as Christmas and Hanukkah.
This year Kwanzaa starts on December 26 (Monday) and ends on January 1 (Sunday). For each day of Kwanzaa, one of the 7 Principles (Nguzo Saba) are celebrated and discussed with family and friends.
With all of that being said, here are the 7 Principles that every “woke,” “semi-woke,” and “not so woke” Black folk out there should know.
Umoja (Unity) – To strive for and 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 & Responsibility) – To build and maintain our community together and make our brother’s and sister’s 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.
Happy Kwanzaa from The Talented 6!!!