The Nguzo Saba (The Seven Principles)
Kwanzaa is a celebration that reinforces seven basic principles/values found in the African culture. It was established to help build and strengthen the African American family, community and pride within our culture. The Nguzo Saba, Swahili for the Seven Principles, developed by Dr. Maulana Karenga, are considered to be the building blocks for a strong and productive community. Although December 26-January 1 marks the celebration of Kwanzaa for African Americans throughout the United States, these principles should be practiced everyday.
Day 1 December 26/ Principle #1: Umoja (oo-MOE-jah)
UNITY: To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race.
Day 2 December 27/ Principle #2: Kujichagulia (koo-jee-cha-goo-LEE-ah)
SELF DETERMINATION: To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves.
Day 3 December 28/ Principle #3: Ujima (oo-JEE-mah)
COLLECTIVE WORK AND RESPONSIBILITY: To build and maintain our community together and to help solve the problems of our brothers and sisters.
Day 4 December 29/ Principle #4: Ujamaa (oo-JAH-mah)
COOPERATIVE ECONOMICS: To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them.
Day 5 December 30/ Principle #5: Nia (nee-AH)
PURPOSE: To make our collecive vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
Day 6 December 31/ Principle #6: Kuumba (Koo-OOM-bah)
CREATIVITY: To do always as much as we can, in the way that we can, in order to leave our community more beautifully than the way we inherited it.
Day 7 January 1/ Principle #7: Imani (ee-MAH-nee)
FAITH: To believe with all hearts in our parents, our teachers, our leaders, our people and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.