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Celebration of Kwanzaa

  • Broadcast in Current Events
Leon Edward Jones Jr

Leon Edward Jones Jr


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Kwanza is a  secular festival observed by many African Americans from December 26 to January 1 as a celebration of their cultural heritage and traditional values. “Kwanzaa was created out of the philosophy of Kawaida, which is a cultural nationalist philosophy that argues that the key challenge in black people’s [lives] is the challenge of culture, and that what Africans must do is to discover and bring forth the best of their culture, both ancient and current, and use it as a foundation to bring into being models of human excellence and possibilities to enrich and expand our lives.” Just as many African harvest celebrations run for seven days, Kwanzaa has seven principles known as the Nguzo Saba. They are: umoja (unity); kujichagulia (self-determination); ujima (collective work and responsibility); ujamaa (cooperative economics); nia (purpose); kuumba (creativity); and imani (faith). Although Kwanzaa celebrates African roots and culture, the National Retail Foundation found that just 13 percent of African Americans observe the holiday, or approximately 4.7 million. Some blacks have made a conscious decision to avoid the day because of religious beliefs, the origins of the day and the history of Kwanzaa’s founder (all of which will be covered later). If you’re curious about whether a black person in your life observes Kwanzaa because you want to get him a related card, gift-wrapping or other item, simply ask. Don’t make assumptions.

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