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Kwanzaa — a Holiday of Purpose and Principles

by Patheresa Wells


A seven-day African American and Pan-African celebration starting on Dec. 26, Kwanzaa — created in 1966 by Maulana Karenga — was developed as a way to connect, commemorate, and honor community and culture by focusing on Nguzo Saba, or the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa. These principles are rooted in traditions of first fruits or harvest celebrations that are found throughout Africa. Even the name of the celebration is taken from the Swahili phrase matunda ya kwanza, or “first fruits.” 

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