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Kwanzaa Through The Words Of Its People

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.

MaryAnn Shank

Submitted by:

Mary-Ann Shank

Mary-Ann Shank, webmistress of Inspirational Quotes Cafe (http://www.inspirational-quotes-cafe.com) knew she had to include quotes for Kwanzaa. The strength and power of these quotations are for everyone.


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