Kwanzaa holiday celebrations: The African American experience with a spiritual focus

Kwanzaa holiday celebrations: The African American experience with a spiritual focus

Kwanzaa is a spiritual experience to some, in that Kwanzaa’s last principal of faith or Imani helps African Americans come to terms with our own need to have faith and belief in that that we cannot see or touch.  Spirituality is limitless and has qualities of happiness, joy, and enjoyment. Kwanzaa helps us to reaffirm our connection to our creator and ourselves and ultimately to our family.  As we celebrate Kwanzaa there is a spiritual renewing of one self, it’s a time for reflection and renewed commitment to the family and self.

As we embark on the weeklong celebration we as African Americans can focus on the true essences of whom we are as a collective community and as individuals without the fear or shame of embracing our cultural heritage with Kwanzaa. With that being said, Dr. Maulana Karenga derived and developed Kwanzaa out of the lack of cultural identity that African Americans had been deprived of in the late 1960’s. He wanted to not only empower and give credence to the a African  American‘s sojourn, he wanted to establish a celebration that’s roots can be traced back to the motherland cradle of civilization.


Dr. Karenga was able to accomplish just that, in that he removed the self doubt and replaced it with a strong sense of oneself that was more connected to the African People throughout the world. The outgrowths became apparent, Pride in ones cultural with slogans as “Black is beautiful” Black Love” the rise of Blacks in political and educational institutions.  The growth of entrepreneurs,  and the clear growth of the communities becoming empowered.  Dr. Maulan had created a cultural movement and it’s sustained because of the spirituality that is embodied in the seven principals of the Ngoza Saba.  African  Americans during the late 1960’s had been longing for  ways to embrace their culture in a more organized way and fundamental way  to allowed us to have a celebration that we could be proud of. -ayanna c. crawford, m.ed

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