Black people all around the world are celebrating Kwanzaa. New Yorkers did the same in all five boroughs and beyond. Kwanzaa creator Dr. Maulana Karenga, former professor of Black studies at California State University, Long Beach developed the seven-day festival 50 years ago. This African-centered Black American celebration embraces life-guiding principles to be practiced all year. Kwanzaa runs from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1.
Each day of the seven days of Kwanzaa represents a different principle. The first day is Umoja. This day represents family and community unity. The second day is Kujichagulia, meaning self-determination. The third day is Ujima. This day we must work with one another and fulfill our responsibilities. The fourth day is Ujamaa, representing the day that we must support one another. The fifth day is Nia, representing the importance of knowing our personal purpose. The sixth day is Kuumba, representing our creativity. And the last day is Imani, promoting the faith within ourselves.
At press time, Karenga was scheduled to appear with the Rev. Al Sharpton at the National Action Network headquarters in Harlem for Ujima. On Kujichagulia, Brooklyn’s December 12th Movement hosted a self-determining special event, “A Nation Within a Nation,” celebrating Black people’s human right to self-determination, at Sistas’ Place, in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. To get the crowd pumped D12 co-founder Coltrane Chimurenga led the assembled audience in an impromptu rally in the streets of Brooklyn.