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As I posted in my last holiday inspiration post, this is one of the first times, in a long time that we’ve celebrated so many holidays in ONE WEEK! Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and New Years all fall this week. This is the best week to remember and celebrate the achievements of our shared cultures! Today, let’s talk about the celebration of Kwanzaa!
Kwanzaa is a week long celebration of african-american culture, family, and community. Each day represents a different principle and given a special name. The names orginate from the swahili language:
- Umoja (Unity): To strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.
- Kujichagulia (Self-Determination): To define and name ourselves, as well as to create 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 hearts in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle. (SOURCE)
I grew up celebrating Kwanzaa and attending Kwanzaa events. My mom took us to cultural celebrations that included African dance presentations, small business vendors, and beautiful art. As a black person, I think it’s important for us to remember the principles of Kwanzaa, even if you don’t observe the whole week. Especially during this time of political upheaval, police brutality, and anti-black propaganda.
Kwanzaa reminds us to work together, build together, and believe in the creativity of our culture. Black people have survived the worst of times and have become stronger through each trial. By using the principles of Kwanzaa, one can be reminded how amazing our culture has and can be. Think about celebrating Kwanzaa this year! CLICK HERE to celebrate Kwanzaa in Nashville.