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Kwanzaa Through The Words Of Its People - Articles Surfing
My very first job, as a lowly assistant to an assistant advertising manager, was the job that first brought me into contact with Kwanzaa. It wasn*t called Kwanzaa then. In fact, Kwanzaa didn*t even exist then.
What I learned about was a wonderful holiday celebrated by American plantation slaves during the week between Christmas and New Years. They cooked special dishes, created special gifts, and sang special songs.
I learned about this tradition in a book called *Christmas Gif* * which Follett Publishing Company published that year. I was very proud to be part of its promotion. It has long been out of print, but I still remember the joy that shone through the pages.
Dr. Maulana Karenga created Kwanzaa in 1966, basing the celebration on the *first fruits* celebrations of African heritage. Black, red and green decorate the seven candles that are the centerpiece of the celebration, as well as African arts and banners. This is a colorful, joyful celebration.
Kwanzaa is a week-long celebration, each of seven days having its own designation. Consider the majesty and joy of Kwanzaa through the words of some of the leaders of this community:
First Day of Kwanzaa: Unity
*We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color.* Maya Angelou
Second Day of Kwanzaa: Self Determination
*It isn't where you came from, it's where you're going that counts.* Ella Fitzgerald
Third Day of Kwanzaa: Work and Responsibility
*If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.* Booker T. Washington
Fourth Day of Kwanzaa: Cooperation in Economics
*If the fingers of one hand quarrel, they cannot pick up the food.* Kenyan proverb
Fifth Day of Kwanzaa: Purpose
*If a man hasn't discovered something that he will die for, he isn't fit to live.* Martin Luther King, Jr.
Sixth Day of Kwanzaa: Creativity
*Create and be true to yourself, and depend only on your own good taste.* Duke Ellington
Seventh Day of Kwanzaa: Faith (also a day of meditation)
*I believe that everyone is keeper of a dream -- and by tuning into one another's secret hopes, we can become better friends, better partners, better parents, and better lovers.* Oprah Winfrey
When I set up my website Inspirational-Quotes-Caf*.com, I knew I had to include some of the very inspirational, motivational quotes of Kwanzaa. This is a deeply felt celebration that touches every corner of the African American experience.
I invite you to share it, too, with the quotes here, and those at the website.
Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).
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