Prepare for your Future – Day 1 of Kwanzaa: Unity

On the first night of Kwanzaa, December 26, the black candle is lit, signifying unity of all black families. Umoja, or unity is the value emphasized because it is the unity of family, community, nation and race that makes any family, community, church, nation or race a strong one. Whether you are African-American, Italian-American, European-American or Native American - however you describe your ethnic heritage and your family's roots, the principle of uniting the family, community, church and nation is one that we can all share.

Kwanzaa is an African American and Pan-African holiday which celebrates family, community and culture. It was established in 1966 by Dr. Maulana (Ron) Karenga, a professor of Africana Studies at California State University, Long Beach. Dr. Karenga is an author and scholar-activist who wanted to stress the indispensable need to preserve, continually revitalize and promote African-American culture.

Celebrated from December 26th thru January 1st, its origins are in the first harvest celebrations of Africa from which it takes its name. The name Kwanzaa is derived from the phrase “matunda ya kwanza” which means “first fruits” in Swahili, a Pan-African language which is the most widely spoken African language. The second

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