Hetep and Respect, every holiday is a Cultural Health opportunity. If you have never seen the seven principles of Kwanzaa take a look. If you have seen them and need a refresher here it is. One of the nice things about the holidays is that we get a chance to learn about each others holidays and the culture behind it .
Did you know there was a feature film about Kwanzaa called The Black Candle: Well in 2009 the film won the Best Documentary at the Africa World Documentary Film Festival in Saint Louis, Missouri and Lagos, Nigeria. In 2010 The Black Candle: A Kwanzaa Celebration was featured on the CBS Early Show. Debbye Turner of Positively Black interviews the Director about the vision behind the film, the holiday, and the movement.
Kwanzaa is the most widely celebrated original African American holiday. "The Father of Kwanzaa" is Maulana Ron Karenga, an African American scholar and social activist. The celebration runs from December 26 to January 1. Kwanzaa (First Fruits Festival) is in the best spirit of Cultural Literacy in that it is a synchronization of African values at home and abroad. This remarkable blend of African and African American values is a major force in the fight to improve Cultural Health in our community by raising Cultural Literacy and reducing Cultural Poisoning here in America.
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Narrated by Maya Angelou and directed by M.K. Asante, Jr., The Black Candle is a landmark, vibrant documentary that uses Kwanzaa as a vehicle to explore and celebrate the African-American experience.
A film by award-winning author and filmmaker M.K. Asante, Jr., The Black Candle is an extraordinary, inspirational story about the struggle and triumph of African-American family, community, and culture.
Filmed across the United States, Africa, Europe and the Caribbean, The Black Candle is a timely illumination on why the seven principles of Kwanzaa (unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith) are so important to African-Americans today.
The first feature film on Kwanzaa, The Black Candle traces the holidays growth out of the Black Power Movement in the 1960s to its present-day reality as a global, pan-African holiday embraced by over 40 million celebrants.
With vivid cinematography and an all star cast that features the best and brightest from the hip-hop and the civil rights generations, The Black Candle is more than a film about a holiday: its a celebration of a people!
The Origin of Kwanzaa comes into recorded history in Classical African Civilization, Kamet (Ancient Egypt c. 12,000 B.C.E.) as this First fruit Offering left by our ancestors to instruct us down through the millennium. Dr. Karanga is a resurrecter and restorer of that which has always been and is our legacy to continue.
Kwanzaa is anchored by its seven guiding principles, known as the Nguzo Saba. Each principle is denoted by one word from the pan African language known as Swali, as reproduced below. I have added the pronunciation as an aid.
Nguzo Saba (The Seven Principles)
1. UMOJA (Unity) [oo-MO-jah]
To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and ethnic group.
2. KUJICHAGULIA (Self-determination) [koo-jee-cha-goo-LEE-ah]
To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves instead of being defined, named, created for and spoken for by others.
3. UJIMA (Collective Work and Responsibility) [oo-JEE-mah]
To Build and maintain our community together and make our sister's and brother's problems our problems and to solve them together.
4. UJAMAA (Cooperative Economics) [oo-jah-MAH]
To Build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together.
5. NIA (Purpose) [NEE-ah]
To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
6. KUUMBA (Creativity) [koo-OOM-bah]
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.
7. IMANI (Faith) [ee-MAH-nee]
To believe with all our hart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.
By Maulana Ron Karenga
with Cultural Health Modification by Rudy Aunk
Note: In the interest of Cultural Health, the word "race" has been replaced with ethnic group in the first principle ("race" is a doublespeak word that has been discredited).