The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa
The foundation of Kwanzaa are the Seven Principles, or Nguzo Saba. When Dr. Karenga created the celebration of Kwanzaa he wanted to reflect the best qualities and characteristics of the “first fruit” or harvest festivals that were celebrated throughout Africa. It was these qualities that established the Nguzo Saba, or Seven Principles of Kwanzaa. (Nguzo Saba is Kiswahili for Seven Principles).
The Seven Principles (Nguzo Saba) of Kwanzaa are:
- Umoja (oo-MOH-jah): Unity
Success starts with Unity. Unity of family, community, nation and race.
- Kujichagulia (koo-jee-chah-goo-LEE-ah): Self-Determination
To be responsible for ourselves. To create your own destiny.
- Ujima (oo-JEE-mah): Collective work and responsibility
To build and maintain your community together. To work together to help one another within your community.
- Ujamaa (oo-jah-MAH): Collective economics
To build, maintain, and support our own stores, establishments, and businesses.
- Nia (NEE-ah): Purpose
To restore African American people to their traditional greatness. To be responsible to Those Who Came Before (our ancestors) and to Those Who Will Follow (our descendants).
- Kuumba (koo-OOM-bah): Creativity
Using creativity and imagination to make your communities better than what you inherited.
- Imani (ee-MAH-nee): Faith
Believing in our people, our families, our educators, our leaders, and the righteousness of the African American struggle.