History Of Kwanzaa
Kwanzaa is a unique festival in many ways. The 1960s was a period of turbulence and turmoil in the African American history. The blacks were constantly ignored and their contribution to the American society neglected. Terrible Watt’s communal riots in the 1960s led to complete segregation and division in the African American community.
Numerous political changes in the region coupled with immense identity crisis led to disarray in the community. The African Americans’ contribution to the country’s economical, social and spiritual development was grossly ignored. Their fundamental rights were neglected. The community was determined to ascertain its cultural, national and social identity.
Dr. Maulana Ron Karenga came up with an idea to establish a festival that would unite African Americans, give them the freedom and pride to celebrate their culture and tradition without having to thing about the repercussions. He founded Kwanzaa, a word derived from the Swahili term “matunda ya kwanza” which means “first fruits”. This harvest festival was meant to bring people together.
Today African Americans and Africans celebrate Kwanzaa all over America. It lasts for seven days from December 26 to January 1. There are seven principles that highlight the African way of life. Each day focuses on discussing one principle of the festival. It is celebrated to commemorate the importance of African contributions to the American culture and society. It is observed as national holiday all over America. Even non African Americans take part in the festival as it promotes overall unity and peace in the region.
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