Today is the first night of the Kwanzaa celebration which will run until January 1. It is celebrated by an estimated 4.7 million people since its creation by Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1966.
I don't think when Dr. Karenga created Kwanzaa that decades later an award winning Black trans activist would also see in the Nguzo Saba principles a way to help organize her marginalized chocolate flavored trans community.
The theme for the 2010 observance of the holiday according to the official website is Kwanzaa and the Nguzo Saba: An Ethics of Sharing Good In The World.
Here are the seven principles of Kwanzaa that are celebrated each night.
- 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.
Time to light the first candle.