Kwanzaa celebrates the seven principles of African heritage: unity, self determination, collective work and responsibility, co-operative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith. It is celebrated from December 26th to January 1st.
The Youth from the Queen Ann Nzinga Center, a non profit cultural arts and humanities program, will present the Kwanzaa principles in the form of a live concert and presentation by Nzinga’s Daughters and Nzinga’s Watoto, featuring the play “Change in Nguzo Saba High School A Musical in 2 Acts” by Rebecca Trapp. The program is for all ages and will invite the audience to interact with them from time to time. It will be a fun time of songs and skits for all!
The name Kwanzaa stems from the Swahili phrase “matunda ya kwanza,” which means “first fruits.” The holiday is a seven-night celebration where families gather each night and discuss one of the seven principles – called the Nguzo Saba — set aside as values to reinforce community among African-Americans. The seven principles are unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.
Similar to Hanukkah, families celebrating Kwanzaa gather for large feasts of traditional foods, music and dancing. Those celebrating also light seven candles held in a kinara, with each candle representing one of the Nguzo Saba principles.
Kwanzaa was created in 1966 as a means to bring African Americans together and celebrate their heritage. Dr. Maulana Karenga, the founder of Kwanzaa, was a professor of Black Studies at California State University, Long Beach. He founded the holiday off of traditional celebrations from different tribes in Africa, particularly the Ashanti and the Zulu.