The Symbols Of Kwanzaa

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Kwanzaa is a holiday that most in the African-American community know about, but aren’t very well-versed on.

What Is Kwanzaa?

A week long celebration that is celebrated in the United States and in other nations of the West African diaspora in the Americas. The name Kwanzaa derives from the Swahili phrase matunda ya kwanza, meaning "first fruits of the harvest". It was created in 1966 by Maulana Ndabezitha Karenga (born Ronald McKinley Everett) and is the first African-American made holiday. Most known for the candle-lighting ceremony, this is a time where each evening, the opportunity is provided to gather and discuss the meaning of Kwanzaa.

The Seven Principles

Kwanzaa has seven principles which are celebrated each day, over the course of a week (December 26 - January 1). They are as follows**:
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This is symbolic of how we should strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.
Kujichagulia (Self-Determination): You create your own destiny, to be responsible for self.
Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility): To build and maintain our community together. This symbolizes helping our brothers' and sisters', by making their problems our problems and solving 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 restore our traditional greatness. This symbolizes building and developing our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
Kuumba (Creativity): To use creativity and imagination, making our communities more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
Imani (Faith): To believe with all our hearts in our people, our parents, our educators, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our
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