As old as 1968

Kwanzaa yenu iwe nahari. This means, “may your Kwanzaa be a happy one.”


The Gift is available as prints or greeting cards at Fine Art America.

This holiday was started in 1968 by Maulana Ron Karenga after the Watts riots and is celebrated by millions of people of African decent in the US and the Caribbean.

My family has been celebrating this as a way to pass our culture along to our children and now our grandchildren.

On New Years Eve we would have a feast (Karamu) in which everyone would bring a dish. The theory being if we all share, we all feast, but if we don’t share, we all starve. We never starved!!!

The youngest children in our house would light the candles, each symbolizing a principle of the day – unity, self determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.

The table was set on a straw mat with corn to represent the children, fruit for the harvest, water to represent purity and the kinara which holds the candles. We exchanged inexpensive and educational gifts each night – no flat screens for Kwanzaa!!!

This is my very favorite time of the year.



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