Know Your History!
While slavery in America hosts the background of Black history, the African American impact on history reaches beyond the country’s early history.
Kwanzaa is a 7 day festival celebrating the African American people, their culture and their history. It is a time of celebration, community gathering, and reflection. A time of endings and beginnings. Kwanzaa begins on December 26th, the day after Christmas, and continues until New Years Day, January 1st.
Celebrating Kwanzaa Week of: December 28, 2014
First Day of Kwanzaa
First Day of Kwanzaa – Umoja – Unity (Togetherness)
Umoja (oo-MOH-jah): Unity
Unity stresses the importance of togetherness for the family and the community, which is reflected in the African saying, “I am We,” or “I am because We are.
Second Day of Kwanzaa
Second Day of Kwanzaa – Kujichagulia (Self-Determination)
Kujichagulia (koo-jee-chah-goo-LEE-ah): Self-Determination
Self-Determination requires that we define our common interests and make decisions that are in the best interest of our family and community.
Third Day of Kwanzaa
Third Day of Kwanzaa – Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility)
Ujima (oo-JEE-mah): Collective work and responsibility
To build and maintain your community together. To work together to help one another within your community.
Fourth Day of Kwanzaa
Fourth Day of Kwanzaa – Ujamaa (Collective economics)
Ujamaa (oo-jah-MAH): Collective economics
Cooperative economics emphasizes our collective economic strength and encourages us to meet common needs through mutual support.
Fifth Day of Kwanzaa – Nia (Purpose)
Fifth Day of Kwanzaa
Nia (NEE-ah): Purpose
Purpose encourages us to look within ourselves and to set personal goals that are beneficial to the community.
Sixth Day of Kwanzaa – Kuumba (Creativity)
Sixth Day of Kwanzaa
Kuumba (koo-OOM-bah): Creativity.
Creativity makes use of our creative energies to build and maintain a strong and vibrant community.
The sixth day, which occurs on New Years Eve, is a special day. This is the day of the Kwanzaa Karamu or Kwanzaa Feast. In the spirit of celebration many families invite their friends and family to join in the festivities.
Seventh Day of Kwanzaa – Imani (Faith)
Seventh Day of Kwanzaa
Imani (ee-MAH-nee): Faith
Faith focuses on honoring the best of our traditions, draws upon the best in ourselves, and helps us strive for a higher level of life for humankind, by affirming our self-worth and confidence in our ability to succeed and triumph in righteous struggle.
Dr. Karenga wanted to create a holiday that would bring African Americans together in celebration of heir black culture.
Since Kwanzaa is a relatively new holiday, you and your family can use your creativity and imagination when deciding how to celebrate the holiday. Over time you and your family will establish your own traditions that can be enjoyed each year as well as passed on to the next generations.
To me, the omission of any group from history teachings results in a limited understanding of history’s relationship with the present and future. Know your history.
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