Kwanzaa is a week-long celebration held in the United States and also celebrated in the Western African Diaspora in other nations of the Americas. The celebration honors African heritage in African-American culture, and is observed from December 26 to January 1, culminating in a feast and gift-giving event. It was created by Maulana Karenga, and was first celebrated in 1966–67.
Maulana Karenga created Kwanzaa in 1966 as the first specifically African-American holiday. Karenga said his goal was to “give Blacks an alternative to the existing holiday and give Blacks an opportunity to celebrate themselves and their history, rather than simply imitate the practice of the dominant society.”
Kwanzaa has seven core principles (Nguzo Saba). Each of the seven days of Kwanzaa is dedicated to one of the following principles, as follows:
• Umoja (Unity): To strive for and to 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 brothers’ and sisters’ 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 hearts in God, our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.
In following with the Kwanzaa tradition, Determined To Achieve Parent Network, held its annual Kwanzaa brunch. The purpose of the event is to celebrate the African American culture.
There were games and activities for the young and old.
An organization from South Jersey generously donated winter outerwear to all in attendance. Cee and Learn organization donated books to the children while BoBo the clown painted the children faces.
Their was African music and rituals carried out to give the participants exposure and information about their ancestors. Various food items were available to all, from fruits & vegetables to hot dogs and chicken.
In the end, all had a good time learning about history and taking part in the various Africans traditions. To take part in next years activities contact us at valeriepersaud.com and we will connect you with the organizers. To view footage from the event, CLICK HERE.