Virtual Kwanzaa Celebration| December 26, 2020

Healing & Restoring

our Communities

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Kwanzaa is a Swahili word that means "first" and signifies the first fruits of the harvest. From December 26 to January 1, many people of African descent in America-celebrate Kwanzaa.

In Africa, there are many customs that are common among the various ethnic groups found on the continent. One of these is the celebration of the harvest. At this time of the year, people of the community/village come together to celebrate and give thanks for their good fortune. Working towards a successful harvest is a communal effort, as is the celebration.

Here in America in 1966, Maulana Ron Karenga and the U.S. Organization adopted the basic principles of the harvest celebrations in Africa to create the observance of Kwanzaa. Karenga recognized that on the whole, African Americans do not live in an agricultural setting. Nonetheless, he sought to emphasize that the basic principles found in producing the harvest are vital to building and maintaining strong and wholesome communities.

In this-way, Kwanzaa was developed. Kwanzaa is that time when we reflect on our use of the basic principles, share and enjoy the fruits of our labor, and recommit ourselves to the collective achievement of a better life for our family, our community, and our people.

Principles and symbols

A display of Kwanzaa symbols with fruit and vegetables

Kwanzaa celebrates what its founder called the seven principles of Kwanzaa, or Nguzo Saba (originally Nguzu Saba – the seven principles of African Heritage). They were developed in 1965, a year before Kwanzaa itself. These seven principles comprise Kawaida, a Swahili word meaning "common". Each of the seven days of Kwanzaa is dedicated to one of the following principles, as follows:[14]

  • Umoja (Unity): To strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.
  • Kujichagulia (Self-Determination): To define and name ourselves, as well as to create and speak for ourselves.
  • Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility): To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers' and sisters' problems our problems and to solve them together.
  • Ujamaa (Cooperative economics): To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.
  • Nia (Purpose): To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
  • Kuumba (Creativity): To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
  • Imani (Faith): To believe with all our hearts in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

Kwanzaa celebratory symbols include a mat (Mkeka) on which other symbols are placed: a Kinara (candle holder for seven candlesticks[15]), Mishumaa Saba (seven candles), mazao (crops), Mahindi (corn), a Kikombe cha Umoja (unity cup) for commemorating and giving shukrani (thanks) to African Ancestors, and Zawadi (gifts). Supplemental representations include a Nguzo Saba poster,[16] the black, red, and green bendera (flag), and African books and artworks – all to represent values and concepts reflective of African culture and contribution to community building and reinforcement.[17] Ears of corn represent the children celebrating and corn may be part of the holiday meal.[18]


Engage with thought leaders who will connect you with the Nguzo Saba (click images to go to their websites)


Purpose Clarity & Life Coach - International Publicist


Doctor of Asian Medicine




Designer & Artist


Join us on December 26, 2020, virtually with the African American Research Library and Cultural Center for their annual Kwanzaa celebration; sponsored by Friends of the Library. This year's theme is "Healing and Restoring Our Communities," Our focus is community healing through 7 principles of Kwanzaa, the Nguzo Saba. This year has reminded us how much we need as a community; during this year's celebration, we will provide workshops and sessions that help will help us towards healing and restoring individuals, families, and our community.

All of the workshops, presentations, and performances will tie into the Nguzo Saba with the main emphasis on healing on the different levels. This year’s event is a launch for a long term initiative to create programs and classes to develop and nurture our community as a whole.

This event is sponsored by the Friends of the African American Research Library, African American Research Library and Cultural Center, and Broward County Libraries. This day is produced by Sankofa's Child Inc (Nzingah Oniwosan).

December 26, 8:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

8:00-8: 45a.m.: (UMOJA) Kemetic Yoga with Yirser Ra Hotep

8:45-9:15 a.m.: Welcome & Kwanzaa Introduction

9:15-10:00 a.m.: Building your Immune System with Nakia Osalami Blake

10:00-10:45a.m.: Check Yourself: A look at our emotions and how they impact our daily functioning with Mathew Jean

10:45-11 a.m.: Networking

11:00-11:30 a.m.: Break (Optional Cooking Class with Nzingah)

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Building Wealth with the Nguzo Saba with Shani Curry St. Vil

December 26, 11:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.:

12:30-1:30 p.m.: Activate Your Purpose with Yetunde Shorters

1:30-2:30 p.m.: Community Unity Quilt Block Workshop with Kianga Janaki

1:30-2:30 p.m.: Creating a Sacred Space with Sia Walker

1:30-2:30 p.m.: Creating a Sacred Space with Sia Walker

2:30-2:45 p.m.: Networking

2:45-3:45 p.m.: You 9 Souls with Yeyefini Efunbolade

2:45-3:45 p.m.: The Connection Between African and Asian Medicine with Dr. George Love

3:45-4:00 p.m.: 5-year plan and Closing

**Hours are subject to change. Please check back for updates.