The Symbols Of Kwanzaa And African-American Culture

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Kwanzaa History
“Kwanzaa, a seven-day holiday that celebrates African-American heritage. Dr. Maulana Karenga created Kwanzaa to help African-Americans remember their roots and to foster unity during a time of incredible racial strife. It’s been observed from December 26 to January 1 every year since 1966. Karenga, a controversial figure in the black power movement, openly opposed Christian beliefs and originally declared that Kwanzaa should be an anti-Christmas of sorts. The name Kwanzaa is derived from matunda ya kwanza, a Swahili phrase for "first fruits," is based on traditional African harvest festivals, combining customs from several different cultures. Each of the seven days represents one of the seven principles of Kwanzaa, or nguzo saba. There are also seven symbols of Kwanzaa, which celebrants display prominently in their homes throughout the holiday. The colors of Kwanzaa are red, black and green -- the colors of the Pan-African flag, which symbolizes unity among African people all over the world. Black represents the people, red their blood and green the earth and the future. Kwanzaa is, of course, a festive time; it has all the feasting and celebrating you'd expect from a weeklong holiday, but it's also an occasion for reflection, conversation, contemplation and camaraderie. And although it's a relatively young holiday, it has its fair share of very specific, detailed traditions.” (Cooper, A. (2011, July 25). Kwanzaa:

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