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Kwanzaa: A Celebration of Family, Learning, and Culture

Happy Kwanzaa! It's the first day of Kwanza and I wanted to share a brief history of the cultural tradition amongst the Black Family. Paired with today's blog, we also share a podcast where I discuss the history of Kwanzaa, AKA ”Black Christmas”, the purpose behind the pan-African studies, and ways to celebrate with your family this year. This year has certainly been a year worth reflecting and giving thanks. As we reflect and plan for success in 2022, we must practice these 7 principles and with intent, apply them in our own life.


Kwanzaa- a Pan- African holiday was created in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga, a professor and activist who pioneered the tradition as a way of uniting and empowering the African American community following what many called one of the deadliest rebellions in the Watts Reillion.

Karenga took the Kwanzaa from the Swahili phrase, “matunda ya kwanza,” which means “first fruits.” The extra “a” was added, Karenga has said, simply to accommodate seven children at the first-ever Kwanzaa celebration in 1966, each of whom wanted to represent a letter.

Kwanzaa purpose is centered around learning, family and celebration. Families are brought together with a shared bond and focus to honor the ancestors and celebrate African American culture. No matter where you are in the world, or your cultural background, these principles can be applied to you and your family leading up to the new year.


“Tell Your Truth” - Podcast


Kwanzaa 7 Principles

Day 1 -Umoja = Unity in Swahili

"To strive for & maintain unity in the family, community, and race"

Day 2 - Kujichagulia = Self Determination

'To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves. '

Day 3 - Ujima =Collective work and responsibility

”Collective responsibility for both our achievements and our setbacks. We commit to building and maintaining our community, taking on each other’s problems, and working to solve them together.”

Day 4- Ujamma = Cooperative economics

“Is a commitment to the practice of shared social wealth and the work needed to achieve it”.

Day 5- Nia = Purpose

“A dedication to the collective vocation of building, developing, and defending our community, its culture, and history.”

Day 6- Kuumba = Creativity

“Is to do everything possible to make a difference and leave the community in better condition than what was inherited. The principle implies a daily investment in the future, or a donation to eternity.”

Day 7- Imani = Faith

“This principle focuses on honoring the best of our traditions, drawing upon the best in ourselves, and helping us strive for a higher level of life for humankind. Imani affirms our self-worth and confidence in our ability to succeed and triumph in righteous struggle.”

How are you celebrating Kwanzaa this year? :

Check out these tips on how to celebrate with the entire family.


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