Search For:

Share This

No Title 2477

Supplement to “Keeping Kwanzaa”

According to, “Kwanzaa was created to introduce and reinforce seven basic values of African culture, which contribute to building and reinforcing family, community, and culture among African-American people as well as Africans throughout the world African community.” The values, known as “Nguzo Saba—The Seven Principles” were developed by Kwanzaa creator Maulana Karenga:

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.

The individual symbol accompanying each principle cab be seen on the Web site, along with guides for greetings (in Swahili), gifts (which must always include a book and a heritage symbol), and colors (black, red, and green are the colors of Kwanzaa).

To read the Kentucky Living December 2010 feature that goes along with this supplement, go to Keeping Kwanzaa.

Don't Leave! Sign up for Kentucky Living updates ...

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.