7 Principles of Kwanzaa: The Way of Living
The Way is not the rule of men. The Way is not women ruling men. The Way is not blind productivity. The Way is creation knowing its purpose, wise in the withholding of itself from snares, from destroyers.
-Two Thousand Seasons
The 7 Principles of Kwanzaa stands at the heart of the Kwanzaa celebration. These principles are the essential reason why Kwanzaa was created. Two Thousand Seasons, the classic work of Ayi Kwesi Armah, frames the importance of the 7 Principles as the pathway for moral and social restoration of the family, community, and African American people. The novel, Two Thousand Seasons, paints a vivid picture of the destruction of African society through the forfeiting of traditional values which provided the moral foundation of the development of Africans as a people, with the family/community as the key social units which helped to anchor traditional African the [Path] Way for productive and sustainable living. This is instructive of African Americans.
To be sure, the 7 Principles of Kwanzaa are a pathway to the restoration of African American people. Embracing these principles will give dispatch to the reappearance of families as a normative feature of black life, serve to increase permanent unions of love between women and men, give rise to neighborhood institutions and conditions necessary to enable black children to thrive, and give birth to school excellence and the pursuit of knowledge in the service of humanity.
As a moral and social pathway, the 7 Principles of Kwanzaa is the interpretive framework for molding family and community identity and attachments. Therefore, the 7 Principles of Kwanzaa tell us:
- Harmonization of family and community interest is the way to achieve the Kwanzaa Principle Unity
- An African-centric view of ourselves and our relationship to the world is the basis for Kwanzaa Principle Self-determination
- Recognition of reciprocal obligations is the meaning of the Kwanzaa Principle Collective Work and Responsibility
- Giving and receiving, receiving and giving is the foundation for the Kwanzaa Principle Cooperative Economics
- Understating that our best self is in our people will guide our the Kwanzaa Principle Purpose
- Continuous excellence and productivity is the realizations of the Kwanzaa Principle Creativity
- Trust and belief in ourselves and our people is reinforces the Kwanzaa Principle Faith