Kwanzaa: The First Fruits Celebration- Imani Day

January 1, 2016

kwanzaa Poster-Last Day

symbol_imaniThis is the seventh day of the Kwanzaa, Imani (Faith): “Commitment, duty, and obligation to trust and believe in our people and our parents and our meet all challenges and to make progress.”

 howardthurmanFaith Theme: Faith is the substance and spirit which makes “tired hearts refreshed and dead hopes stir with the nearness of life; faith is the “promise of tomorrow at the close of everyday, the triumph of life in the defiance of death, and the assurance that love is sturdier than hate, right is more confident than wrong, that good is more permanent than evil.

-       Howard Thurman





Ocean Family Ingathering Activity

Today, the family and/or friends come together to reflect on the meaning of faith within the family and community. This is a reflective day, a meditative day, a day when we turn inward to think of and discuss example, currently and historically, are the bridges that have brought us across the turbulence of slavery, Jim Crow violence, terror, and dehumanization, and the glory of Great Awakenings (New Negro Movement and the 1960s Freedom Movement) and the achievements of African Americans today.


Explanation of Imani

Faith is the bedrock principle. Faith, as Mary McLeod Bethune said, “is the first factor in a life devoted to service. Without faith, nothing is possible. With it, nothing is impossible. Faith in God is the greatest power, but great, too, is faith in oneself.”  Faith has been ever present in the black experience in America. At our most unpromising moments, faith has carried us forward, making us more hopeful. The infamous The Dred Scott decision, declaring that all blacks- those enslaved as well as those who were free -were not and could never become citizens of the United States, was a cause for despair. In response to this decision, Frederick Douglass would do his customary thing: He would begin with hope in his speeches, uttering “I walk by faith and not by sight.” And, of course, the second stanza of the Black National Anthem is an ode to faith:

Stony the road we trod,
bitter the chastening rod,
felt in the day that hope unborn had died;
yet with a steady beat,
have not our weary feet,
come to the place on which our fathers sighed?
we have come over a way that with tears has been watered;
we have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered,
out from the gloomy past, till now we stand at last
where the white gleam of our star is cast.


Remembrance and Libation Statement

Libation-Ancient EgyptiansThe Kwanzaa activity of pouring of libation is a spiritual and venerable act which has its roots in traditional African societies. It was done then and is done now to honor those who have gone before us. Their lives and contributions made it possible for us to live with more freedom and dignity. On Imani Day, we give deep thought and appreciation to our love ones who have departed. We remember how instructive their lives were and how even now, they inform us.

Imani Commitment

Young Woman Lighting Menorah Candles

 The Imani commitment is made by each family member and is often done with the candle lighting activity. The family begins by discussing the principle –What they have done and what they will do doing the coming year to demonstrate faith in ourselves, our parents, or friends, and our people.Kwanzaa Journal - blk, red,  green


Imani Family Activity

Kwanzaa Guidemainbanner-

The Imani activity is intended to reinforce the Imani principle. Therefore, the family engages or plans an activity of its choosing which highlight this principle.

Kwanzaa Karamu (The Feast)

 There is no special or mandatory food for Kwanzaa. The choice of food is strictly an individual family decision. You may choose to go out for the Kwanzaa meal, order out, or cook. The aim is to make it a special meal in the way you determine.



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