“Kwanzaa” by L.A. Amber

Weekly Trip to the Library

Kwanzaa is a celebration honoring African heritage and culture in the African-American community, lasting from December 26th to January 1st each year.

Kwanzaa: 7 Principles, Celebration, Decorations, Traditions and Symbols: A Kwanzaa Book for Kids by L.A. Amber teaches children all about the celebrations, practices and traditions of Kwanza. This beautiful rhyming and fully illustrated book teaches children how to celebrate Kwanzaa.

The name Kwanzaa derives from the Swahili phrase matunda ya kwanza, meaning “first fruits of the harvest”. Kwanzaa celebrates the seven principles of Kwanzaa, or Nguzo Saba.

Umoja (Unity): Maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.

Kujichagulia (Self-Determination): Define and name ourselves, as well as to create and speak for ourselves.

Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility): Build and maintain our community together.

Ujamaa (Cooperative economics): Build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses.

Nia (Purpose): Make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.

Kuumba (Creativity): Do always as much as we can in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.

Imani (Faith): 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), 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).

Click here to see more children’s books about Kwanzaa.

You can purchase your own copy of Kwanzaa: 7 Principles, Celebration, Decorations, Traditions and Symbols: A Kwanzaa Book for Kids by clicking the title of the book in this book review.

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