How Kwanzaa Came to Be…
Dr. Ron Maulana Karenga created Kwanzaa in 1966 as a way to help Black and or African American
families and communities in the United States heal from the painful racial unrest, emotional distress
and violence they’d experienced during the Civil Rights movement. Reflection, mindfulness, and
healing for Black people are built into the rituals and celebration of the holiday.
The Seven Principles or Nguzo Saba
•Umoja stands for unity in Black families and communities and among Black people all around the world.
•Kujichagulia means self-determination and the ability of Black people to build their own future by defining, naming and speaking for themselves.
•Ujima is the Swahili word for collective work and responsibility, encouraging Black people to work together and be accountable to one another.
•Ujamaa stands for cooperative economics in Black communities, combining energy and focus to build businesses and economic stability and to support each other’s economic goals.
•Nia means purpose, inspiring Black people to build personal and communal dreams and goals to work towards together.
•Kuumba is creativity, creating things of beauty that strengthen and empower Black people and Black communities.
•Imani means faith in Black people, families and heritage keeping faith that the struggle for justice will be won.