Do You Have Principles
Kwanzaa is a week long holiday honoring African culture and traditions. It falls between December 26th and January 1st each year. Maulana Karenga, an African American professor of Black Studies, proposed this observance as it was first celebrated between December 1966 and January 1967. It is an important holiday not only in African cultures, but African American too, because it replies to the ongoing mental slavery experienced in Africa. Kwanza focuses heavily on the seven principles, tradition, and how to achieve social justice and build a better world. Each of the seven days of Kwanzaa honors a different principle. These principles are believed to have been the key to building strong, productive families and communities in Africa. By upholding the philosophy and principles of Kwanzaa, black people pose a strong wall against the waves of commercialization which affect all holidays in today’s market culture which is essentially a culture of sales and consumption. On the other hand, Kwanzaa is above all a cultural practice not a commercial one. The wall of resistance to commercialization is the people themselves and their conscientious and consistent focus on the vision of Kwanzaa and the practice of its values. Certainly, the central values of Kwanzaa are the “Nguzo Saba” or the Seven Principles. Umoja (Unity); Kujichagulia (Self-Determination); Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility); Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics); Nia (Purpose); Kuumba (Creativity); and Tmani (Faith). The consistent practices of these values provide an effective defense against the ways of the wicked. Kwanzaa has an interesting and storied history that I think rivals some of our best known holidays. Kwanzaa is actually a non-religious African American holiday which celebrates the elements of family, culture, tradition, and community. Every family may have their own ritual but a large majority of celebrations include a traditional meal, drums, symbols, and...
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