Kwanzaa Seven Principles

The Kwanzaa holiday was created to introduce and reinforce seven principles which were viewed as core value systems for healthy and thriving families, stable and loving and caring relationships, effective parenting practices, school achievement, and non violent, safe and productive communities. Thus, the seven days of the Kwanzaa holiday is organized around the seven principles of Kwanzaa: Unity, Self-determination, Collective Work and Responsibility, Shared Wealth, Purpose, Creativity and Faith. The Kwanzaa DVD guides explains the origins and historical use of these principles and shows the viewer how the values are observed doing Kwanzaa.


Umoja principle instructs that each member of the family and by extension the community is constituted by a web of interpersonal relationships. The health and possibilities of the family and community, therefore, is dependent upon the quality of relationship within the family and community.


Kujichagulia principle says African Americans, like all people, need shared cultural values, symbols, rituals, and practices in order to give their families and children meaning and value, and identity and community.


Ujima principle teaches each family member to recognize that their own well-being is derived from their family and community’ well being and that they must be concern with the overall health of their family and community; and that the lives of each family member and that of the community are bound together.


Ujamaa principle empowers families and communities to come together around their collective economic interest and to see their economic strength in co-opt owing and buying as in employee owned credit unions.


Nia principle instructs each family member to see him or herself as linked to the larger project of nation building. "An individual has not started to live until he or she can rise above the narrow confines of his or her individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of humanity", Martin Luther King, Jr. instructs.


Kuumba principle demands continuous improvement in personal and family and social matters. George Washington Carver teaches us all that "No one has a right to come in to the world without leaving behind a distinct and legitimate reason for having passed though it".


Imani principle teaches personal and collective efficacy. Mary McLeod Bethune says: "Without faith nothing is possible; with faith nothing is impossible. Faith in god is the greatest power, but great to is faith in oneself". Howard Thurman teaches that faith is the "promise of tomorrow at the close of everyday, the triumph of life in the defiance of death."

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