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Don't forget to send Kwanzaa eCards by 12/26/2013.
The History of KwanzaaKwanzaa is a celebration of African American culture. It is not a religious celebration, so members of the African American community of all faiths can unite in celebration. The seven-day ceremony extends from December 26 until January 1. The kinara (candle holder) is placed on a mkeka (mat) which is spread across a beautiful African cloth. Seven candles, the Mishumaa Saba, are lit in order, starting with the Umoja, the black candle placed in the center. The single black candle represents the African American people. The red candles, representing the struggle of the people, and then the green candles, representing the hope and future that comes from the struggle, are then lit during the following days.
(The Seven Principles)
To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race.
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.
To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
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.
To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.
Dr. Maulana Karenga
Kwanzaa began during the Civil Rights Movement and was created by Dr. Maulana Karanga. The word 'Kwanzaa' means "first fruit" in Swahili – the native language spoken in most parts of Africa.
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