Arrene Downey (Chapman)
October 9, 2006
Kwanzaa is a non-religious, week-long holiday established in 1966 to celebrate African heritage. 1966 is during the age of Pluralism which was 1946 through 2000. This holiday is still celebrated today and was founded by Dr. Maulana Karensa.
Observances include candle-lighting, social gatherings, and reflection on seven community-oriented guidance principles. There are seven colored candles; black, green, and red, that represents each day of observance and is placed in a kinara (a candle holder). One candle is lit each day to represent the principle for that particular day of the week long celebration.
"The seven principles are: Umoja [OO-MO-JAH] ("U-N-I-T-Y" Queen Latifah) - To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation, race. (Black Candle) Kujichagulia [KOO-GEE-CHA-GOO-LEE-YAH] (Self-Determination) - To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves instead of being defined, named, created for and spoken for by others. (Red Candle) Ujima [OO-GEE-MAH] (Creative Work & Responsibility) - To build and maintain our community together and make our sisters' and brothers' problems our problems and solve them together. (Green Candle) Ujamaa [OO-JAH-MAH] (Cooperative Economics) - To build and maintain our own stores and other businesses and to profit from them together. (Red Candle) Nia [NEE-YAH] (Purpose) - To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness. (Green Candle)
Kuumba [KOO-OOM-BAH] (Creativity) - To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it. (Red Candle) Imani [EE-MAH-NEE] (Faith) - To believe with all our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle. (Green Candle)"... [continues]
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