Celebrate the Kwanzaa holiday with our new Kwanzaa collection.
What is Kwanzaa?
Kwanzaa was developed in 1966 by American Dr. Maulana Karenga, an activist, author and professor of Africana studies, as a way for African Americans to celebrate a uniquely African-themed holiday along with or as an alternative to Christmas.
The name Kwanzaa comes from the Swahili phrase matunda ya kwanza, meaning "first fruits", which are traditional first harvest holidays celebrated in Southern Africa from December to January during the southern solstice.
Why was Kwanzaa created?
According to kwanzaa.net, there were three reasons why Kwanzaa was created:
- It was created during the 1960's Black Freedom Movement, to restore Black people's connection to their African roots;
- It serves as a communal celebration to reinforce the bonds between Black people;
- It introduces the seven principles of Nguzo Saba (meaning "Seven Principles"), which is a communitarian African value system, stressing the connection between the individual and the community.
What are the seven principles of Kwanzaa?
There are seven principles or values of Kwanzaa, and one principle is focused on each day of the holiday celebration.
- Umoja (Unity): To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race.
- Kujichagulia (Self-Determination): To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves.
- Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility): To build and maintain our community together and make our brother's and sister's problems our problems and to solve them together.
- Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics): To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together. (Plus...we fixed the typo in our design!)
- Nia (Purpose): To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
- Kuumba (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.
- 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.
Learn more about Kwanzaa by visiting these sites: