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Kwanzaa is a holiday invented in 1966 by Ronald Karenga (founder of the Black Power group "Us Organization") through which African Americans can connect with their heritage and culture. It's celebrated from December 26 through January 1, with each of the seven days focusing on one of seven core values, or Nguzo Saba. A candle is lit on each day, and on the last day, gifts are exchanged. Since Kwanzaa is a cultural holiday rather than a religious one, it can be celebrated alongside Christmas or Hanukkah, or on its own, although Karenga wished for it to be celebrated instead of Christmas and Hanukkah, as he felt these holidays were simply symbols of the dominant cultures in America.
According to the official Kwanzaa Web site, “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).
Kwanzaa Week Long Food Celebration
-I HONOR YOUR GREATNESS-
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