Third Kwanzaa Symbol: Candleholder/Kinara
Kwanzaa symbols make up the â€śKwanzaa Setâ€ť and are an essential part of the Kwanzaa celebration.Â Kwanzaa symbols are representations of the best of who we are and echo our highest ideals. Kwanzaa symbols reinforce the values, concepts and themes of the Kwanzaa holiday.
The symbols also are instructive, furnishing lessons and narratives which can serve as powerful illustrations in support of an enriched social, moral and intellectual development.Â Therefore, discussion of this Kwanzaa symbol adds value to the holiday while reinforcing the identity of African Americans.
African Americans by definition are African people, hence; our historical origins are in Africa. Continental African people are our parent people. That is to say, our point of historical origins as a people, despite our current location in America, is Africa.
Continental African people, beginning with the dawn of human civilization in ancient Egypt( the invention of writing, math, religion, government) and extending through the great empires and civilizations of the Moors, Ghana, and Songhai. As Alex Haley discovered in his groundbreaking narrative Roots, the genealogy of every African American finds its beginning in Africa. We thus owe a debt of gratitude to Continental African people, our parent people, for gifting us with our lives.
During Kwanzaa, we acknowledge and honor our parent people, all Continental African peoples, as we are mindful of Marcus Garveyâ€™s admonition: “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” And, least we forget the African proverb which says: “A man/woman who pays respect to the great (our parent people) paves the way for his/her own greatness.”