In American culture, the solution to feeling purposeless is usually to do more for yourself. Who better than to ask the question: What is the direction of this evolution? Calendar of Events. These seven principles comprise Kawaida, a Swahili word meaning "common". There are also seven symbols associated with Kwanzaa. Ujima: Collective Work and Responsibility. Cooperative economics. Sign up for Beliefnet's Love and Family newsletter. Karenga expands on this principle with, "To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness. When our news feeds are filled with racism, bickering and unspeakable atrocities, it can be nearly impossible to retain a sense of unity. As the creator of Kwanzaa, Dr. Maulana Karenga has had a profound impact on the African-American culture as well as the evolution of Black Studies. google_ad_height = 15; While we may not share their struggle, having faith in each other and even our nation reinforces the sense of unity and community that Kwanzaa is all about. Kuumba: Creativity. Thursday marked the start of Kwanzaa, also spelled Kwanza (with one 'a' at the end). Note that the 7 Principles incorporate the words first in Swahili and then English. Each of the seven days of Kwanzaa is dedicated to one of seven principles. Dr. Maulana Karenga. ", Meaning "creativity," Karenga defines this principle as "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. He also explains the seven principles of Kwanzaa: Umoja: Unity. Imani (faith): To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle. The first principle is unity of the family, community, nation and race. Mkeka (M-kay-cah) - This is the mat (usually made of straw, but it can also be made of fabric or … The seventh and final principle is faith, but not in God. Umoja Since each child wanted to represent each letter in Kwanzaa, the additional letter “a” was added at the end to acknowledge their wishes. The Seven Kwanzaa Principles Light the kinara and honor the seven principles of Kwanzaa. Mazao, the crops (fruits, nuts, and vegetables) Symbolizes work and the basis of the holiday. //-->, Apples4theteacher.com is a teacher created website with elementary and homeschooling activities: That idea may have gotten lost somewhere along the way, but the sixth principle of Kwanzaa reminds us it is up to each of us to find ways to turn our gifts into improvements for our communities. (CNN)Christmas might be over, but Kwanzaa is just getting started. Kwanzaa Karamu. The 7 Kwanzaa Principles Explained. first grade, second grade, third grade, fourth grade, fifth grade and 4. ", Karenga defines this as faith in community, writing, "To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle. Seven symbols are displayed during the Kwanzaa ceremony to represent the seven principles of African culture and community. The name comes from the Swahili phrase "matunda ya kwanza," which means "first fruits of the harvest." Beliefnet is a lifestyle website providing feature editorial content around the topics of inspiration, spirituality, health, wellness, love and family, news and entertainment. For the African people, this principle reminds them to place their faith in their parents, teachers and community leaders, while also trusting in the righteousness of their struggle. Ujamaa: Cooperative Economics. Ujamaa (cooperative economics): To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together. Each day of the festival is dedicated to a specific principle, marked by lighting a new candle on the kinara, a seven-branched candelabra. The holiday is defined by Nguzo Saba, or the seven principles. Each of the seven days of Kwanzaa is dedicated to one of the following principles, as follows: Los Angeles, December 31, 2019 . Created in 1966 by Maulana Karenga, a black nationalist and professor of Pan-African studies at California State University at Long Beach, Kwanzaa became popular in the 1980s and 1990s in tandem with the black power movement -- making up the trio of winter holidays along with Hanukkah and Christmas. Here's a look at what those principles are, and what they mean. If you're still trying to figure out what the "kwanzi" part of Chrismakwanzika is all about, don't worry. Translated as "collective work and responsibility," ujima refers to uplifting your community. The second principle is to define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves. 3. Umoja Kuumba or Creativity: To do always as much as we can, in any way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it. Nia tells us the solution to purposelessness is to stop looking inward and to start looking outward. Let TonyBrownsJournal.com do the teaching with 1,000 streamed videos in your home, your office or on your mobile device for a true Black history education. Far too often, weÂ allow ourselves and our lives to be determined or led by others. Born out of the civil rights movement in the 60’s, Dr. Karenga felt there was a need for all African Americans to reconnect with their historical and cultural heritage. PS22 Chorus "7 Principles Of Kwanzaa" (2007 Holiday Choral Concert) - Duration: 2:10. Here’s a look at what those principals are, and what they mean. While Kwanzaa may not be on the tip of your tongue this holiday season,Â its seven principles for building family and community are universally relevant. In a year where women had to #ShoutYourAbortion and #SayHerName, this reminder is particularly poignant. The seventh and final principle is faith, but not in God. It's a seven-day non-religious holiday observed in the US, meant to, The name comes from the Swahili phrase "matunda ya kwanza," which means "first fruits.". Nia (purpose): To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness. To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race. D, founder of several Black nationalist organizations and a key figure in the shaping of Black thought. /* 728x15, created 6/27/08 */ Only good things can happen when we search for meaning and purpose in our communities, instead of viewing ourselves as islands. When Dr. Karenga created the celebration of Kwanzaa he wanted to reflect the best qualities and characteristics of the “first fruit” or harvest festivals that were celebrated throughout Africa. Here's a look at what those principles are, and what they mean. When we maintain individual ownership and control of our businesses, but accept our economies are cooperative, businesses do their part to give back to the economy as a whole. Ujamaa or Cooperative Economics: To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together. "To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together," he writes. Unlike the other holidays in December that are probably bleeding your bank account dry, Kwanzaa isn't a religious holiday. google_ad_client = "pub-6190326990276128"; 5. At this time of great social change for African Americans, Karenga sought to design a celebration that would honor the values of ancient African cultures and inspire African Americans who were working for progress. The foundation of Kwanzaa are the Seven Principles, or Nguzo Saba. Imani or Faith: To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness will victory of our struggle. Even though Kwanzaa isn't as widely celebrated as it used to be, its seven principles still hold true for some. It's a secular holiday that celebrates African-American culture and life. "To build and maintain our community together and make our brother's and sister's problems our problems and to solve them together," Karenga writes. Copyright 2020, Tony Brown Productions, Inc. All rights reserved. Given the profound significance Kwanzaa has for many African Americans and indeed, for some in the world. TBJ Show #2519 -- THE EVOLUTION OF BLACK STUDIES, His-Story: Black History’s Little Known Facts, Black and White Music: The Melting Pot Music. In 2002, I interviewed Dr. Maulana Karenga, professor and chair of Africana Studies at California State University, Long Beach (CLICK to view TBJ Show #2519 -- THE EVOLUTION OF BLACK STUDIES) and he and I discussed the African-American holiday of Kwanzaa that he founded. If that reeks of socialism to you, then good. Kwanzaa celebrates what its founder called the seven principles of Kwanzaa, or Nguzo Saba (originally Nguzu Saba – the seven principles of African Heritage). google_ad_slot = "6770454797"; The fifth principle, Nia, is to find purpose throughÂ the shared work of building community. The sixth principle is to do whatever we can to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we found it. For current information on Kwanzaa see: www.OfficialKwanzaaWebsite.org and for information on The Organization Us see: www.Us-Organization.org. I know; it's more socialism, but stay with me here. Similar to ujima, this principle refers to uplifting your community economically. The third principle is to build and maintain community together, and to take each other's problems on and solve them as our own. It is also interesting to note that at the time Dr. Karenga established the USO or United Slaves Organization, better known today as Organization Us, there were seven children in this organization. He is a celebrated author, Ph. While we may not share their struggle, having faith in each other and even our nation reinforces the sense of unity and community that Kwanzaa is all about.
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