As many of us eat up the last of our Christmas cookies and unwrap our remaining presents, others are preparing for Kwanzaa, the seven day celebration spanning from December 26 to January 1.

Kwanzaa was created by Dr. Maulana Karenga with the goal to give African-Americans “an alternative to the existing holiday and give Blacks an opportunity to celebrate themselves and history, rather than simply imitate the practice of the dominant society.” Many have questioned the made-up nature of Kwanzaa, while others revel in its seven principles that are meant to highlight self-determination as well as the collective success of African-Americans.

The Nguzo Saba, or seven principles, consist of:

  • 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 stand up.
  • 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.

Each principle is celebrated on each subsequent day of Kwanzaa, starting today.

So, as we enter into day one, Umoja, do you celebrate Kwanzaa? Why or why not?

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  • Pilot

    I can’t help feeling that Kwanzaa is just someone running game on me. It’s like black Americans are being punked in a big way.

    The fact that it is now known that the UCLA assistant professor that made up Kwanzaa in the late Sixties was also an FBI informant has only added to my mistrust regarding the whole premise of this “cultural celebration”.

    • MKelsey

      O but Thanksgiving and Halloween of all things isnt running game on you? can you “help feeling” that? wow bruh, do your research-please. Kwanzaa is a positive holiday-why hate?

  • YeahRight2011

    No. Hopefully it will die with Karenga.

  • MKelsey

    Yes, of course I celebrate Kwanzaa and am glad to do so. We have had a great Kwanzaa thus far and the kids in our extended family have really enjoyed it and learned a great deal. A megachurch we attended on Sunday in Atlanta also has a Kwanzaa obserance service. The kids are already talking about launching their own businesses and how to work together to solve differences. It is always interesting how random folk wont question the origins of Thanksgiving (burning alive of the Pequot people to stench and hiss, including babies, and the declaration of “thanksgiving” for this by the Mass. governor. Or how about Pilgrim Miles standish decapitating the Native American and posting his head on a pole where it stayed for 24 years and celebrating smallpox mass extermination by blanket). Or the orgins of Christmas (fusion of Roman, Pagan, and Catholic political decisions when Christ never commanded us to celebrate his birth). Yet, we enjoy them with food, family, and football, including myself. Still, they will single out Kwanzaa, now going strong 40 + years. It is a great holiday because of its principles encouraging unity, family, and faith. We celebrate it an a lot of people we know of all economic strata do as well.

  • Mariposita

    Peace and blessings. The following article gives some understanding of Christmas, which (not trying to offend or down anyone here, because I celebrated Christmas too) lets us know how crazy it is to celebrate it as opposed to Kwanzaa. Let’s not forget that many holidays are all made up, or rather twisted and mixed in with false information to keep us in the dark (we can believe this or leave it alone). Kwanzaa was not based upon birthdays or historical events, but simply the unity of African American families which is beautiful and why wouldn’t we want prosperity and unity in our families?

    Article is here:

    http://www.finalcall.com/artman/publish/Perspectives_1/article_8473.shtml

    Enjoy and have a Prosperous and Happy New year everyone.