For the past several years, my family and I have celebrated Kwanzaa as well as Christmas. Kwanzaa, which is neither religious nor political, was established to celebrate African American culture. It begins on December 26th and lasts for seven days, ending on January 1st. At the heart of Kwanzaa stand the Nguzo Saba, which in Swahili means the Seven Principles; on each day a different principle is celebrated. They are: Umoja (Unity); Kujichagulia (Self-Determination); Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility); Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics); Nia (Purpose); Kuumba (Creativity); and Imani (Faith). I have come to value the opportunity to reflect on these principles at the end of each year, remembering the contributions of our ancestors and reaffirming my own commitment to my family and my community. This year we will host a gathering on the second day of Kwanzaa, honoring Kujichagulia (Self-Determination), as it is my daughter’s favorite principle. Have a joyous Kwanzaa!
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