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The 7 Principles of Kwanzaa

by on December 18, 2009

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 heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

  1. Tony permalink

    I apologize, in advance, if my question is offensive (I am not African-American.)
    Is there a traditional rationale for celebrating Kwanzaa so close to the older established celebrations. If there isn’t,
    would it be possible to celebrate it during another month?
    Again, not to be offensive, in addition to celebrating Black achievement during February, would it be better timing to celebrate Kwanzaa during February?

  2. mary permalink

    I am caucasian. This is the first time that I have ever read the 7 principles of Kwanzaa. They are beautiful. If we all lived by these principles, the world would certainly be a much better place. Thank you for this education.

  3. Gregory Santamoor permalink

    I think the principles of Kwanzaa are fitting for all races and all Americans. I am an educator and believe that we should start celebrating Kwanzaa together instead of only labeling it a “black” celebration. This would not in any way take away the original message of why we are celebrating this but make it stronger. I cannot think of even one justification for telling a 10 year old child why only certain people celebrate Kwanzaa considering we all should be following these principles.

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