The Kwanzaa Feast


Ujima - Collective Work and Responsibility: To build and maintain our community together and to make our sisters' and brothers' problems our problems and to solve them together.

Ujamma - Cooperative Economics: To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together.

Nia - Purpose: To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.

Kuumba - Creativity: To do always as much as we can, in whatever way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.

Imani - Faith: To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teacher, our leaders and in the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

Kwanzaa starts on December 26 of each year. On December 31, there is a lavish feast -- the Kwanza Karamu. This is a night of great celebration and food. The dishes served vary from Southern cuisine, African dishes, Caribbean specialties, to traditional South American fare. Normally the food is intermixed with history, culture, art and music, celebrating the "Kuumba" -- the creativity of the African and African-American peoples. Readings from favorite books, poetry and speeches are cherished.

There are five main parts to the Karamu, and each family celebrates each section a little bit differently. I have outlined Karenga's description of each section and described some of the activities normally enjoyed during this time:

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