Do you celebrate Kwanzaa?

December 6, 2006 by  

Are you a Brit, Black and celebrate Kwanzaa? A reported 18-20 million people worldwide celebrate Kwanzaa between December 26th and January 1st each year. Kwanzaa was created in 1966 by Ron Keranga in California, once chair of the Department of Black Studies at California State University and was designed to unite and strengthen ties within African communities, in the US initially, but then throughout the Diaspora.

Seven Principles of Kwanzaa

There are seven principles of Kwanzaa, each day within the week is dedicated to one of the following

  • 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.
  • 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.

These principles correspond to Karenga’s notion that “the seven-fold path of blackness is think black, talk black, act black, create black, buy black, vote black, and live black“. Is this still a relevant philosophy in noughties Britain? or is our multicultural society one in which such black nationalist sentiment is no longer desirable or needed?

In a series of articles we shall examine the history of Kwanzaa, how it is celebrated, and recognised within the UK and abroad. If you celebrate Kwanzaa, why not tell us how you recognise this season. Do you celebrate in addition to, or as an alternative to Christmas?

If you wish to know more about Kwanzaa you can visit the following external links. These links will open in a new window.


2 Responses to “Do you celebrate Kwanzaa?”

  1. samantha on December 19th, 2006 12:57 pm

    how can i find out about any kwanza events happening in london?

  2. Editor on December 23rd, 2006 4:57 am

    Please check out for a couple that we have found. We will continue to list events as we hear of them so please keep checking the site for updated listings.

    Remember if you like what you have seen on Bambooo, please recommend us to your friends

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