In November a Montessori teacher in Florida asked if I celebrated Kwanzaa, and challenged me to share its beauty with my network of influence.  Special thanks to Terri Joelle for lending me one of the best resources, a book titled: "Kwanzaa - Everything You Always Wanted To Know But Didn't Know Where To Ask" revised edition by Cedric McClester.  I now celebrate, share and reconnect with the fruitful history and tradition of Kwanzaa.

How many people celebrate Kwanzaa, and who?

It's estimated that Kwanzaa is celebrated by more than 14,000 million people of all races (predominately African Americans), many celebrate privately in the home or attending large events. The principles of Kwanzaa make sense for everyday living, for instance: Unity - Self Determination - Collective Work & Responsibility - Cooperative Economics - Creativity - Purpose and Faith.

Why are the official Kwanzaa colors black, red and green?

Red represents the blood of our people shed. Green is for hope and significant to the motherland. Black represents the face of our people.The national (black, red,and green) flag was created by the father of the modern Black nationalist movement Marcus Garvey.

Why did Dr. Karenga give African Americans a reason to connect with Kwanzaa?

During the 60's African Americans were challenged during the civil rights movement and black freedom act. Kwanzaa was a way to express individual pride and dignity when America suppressed the voice and faces of African Americans as human beings.

Why celebrate Kwanzaa?

To pay tribute and remember the rich cultural roots and contributions of African ancestors, known and unknown; recognized from December 26th to January 1st, on an annual basis with family or solo.

What is the premise of Kwanzaa?

Based on seven fundamental principles  referred to as Nguzo Saba.

What is Nguzo Saba?

A Swahili word meaning values.

Where is Swahili spoken?

Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi, Rwanda and Burundi, Somalia, and the Comoro Islands.

What do you need to celebrate Kwanzaa?

Dedicate a space in your home for your alter to represent the basic Kwanzaa symbols.

I invite you to visit Dr. Maulana Karenga's website to learn more about Kwanzaa. Dr. Karenga is the professor & chair of Africana Studies at California State University,.

She Reviews It

Mazao - Vegetables & Fruits
Mkeka - Place mat (usually made of straw, or natural materials)
Kinara - Candle holder to hold 7 candles (3 red candles, 1 black candle and 3 green candles)
Vibunzi - Ears of corn to represent the number of children in the home.
Zawadi - Gifts made by hand. Perfect time to craft gifts for friends and family.
Kikombe Cha Umojo - Communal unity cup to sip libation with family or those attending
Mishumaa Saba - Seven candles
Bendera ya Taifa - The national (black, red,and green) flag  created and given by the father of the modern Black nationalist movement Marcus Garvey

kwanzaa quiz