The African American celebration of Kwanzaa is from December 26 through January 1, and since its inception in 1966, has become widely practiced across the U.S. as a time of food, fellowship, and fun for those who appreciate the African cultural expressions of song and dance that reconnect us to our heritage. Kwanzaa is also a time where those who produce products may sell them at events as vendors in an open market style of selling reminicent of the African marketplace. It gives an opportunity for African American entrepreneurs to promote and sell products after the Christmas spending spree and still make money on the gift giving tradition of family and friends celebrating Kwanzaa. Started by Maulana Ron Karenga in 1966, Kwanzaa, although not a religious based holiday, promotes a set of seven principles to live by that are based on moral and ethical principles of a community that values the individual as part of a collective. Umoja, (Unity in Swahili) is the first principle. Today we look at those who are making efforts toward creating a stronger economic base using the principle of unity.
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