Happy New Year, faithful readers! Did any of you happen to celebrate Kwanzaa this year? Interested in learning more? Make use of some of the resources available here at the Stone Center Library! We are open this week and the next, from 8am-5pm (Monday – Friday), and regular hours resume on the 18th.
Kwanzaa takes place December 26-January 1 and seeks to celebrate African American heritage and to promote cultural pride and remembrance. Created in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga, the name “Kwanzaa” is derived from the Swahili “matunda ya kwanza,” meaning “first fruits.” The seven days of observance correspond to the holiday’s seven principles (“nguzo saba”): unity; self-determination; collective work & responsibility; cooperative economics; purpose-building; creativity; and faith.
For more detailed information, check out the Official Kwanzaa Website, which includes FAQs and an annual Founder’s Message. Or come by the Stone Center Library and check out any of the following books:
- Kwanzaa: Black Power and the Making of the African American Holiday Tradition. Keith A. Mayes, 2009.
- “Kwanzaa and the Ethics of Sharing: Forging our Future in a New Era.” Maulana Karenga, 2003. In Freedom on My Mind: The Columbia Documentary History of the African American Experience. Manning Marable, ed. (pp.181-193)
- “Kwanzaa and the U.S. Ethnic Mosaic” Ariana Hernández-Reguant. 1999. In Representations of Blackness and the Performance of Identities. Jean Muteba Rahier, ed. (pp. 101-122)
- “Christians Celebrating Kwanzaa: Reflections and Thanksgiving for the African Heritage” Ronald Edward Peters, 2006. In Africentric Approaches to Christian Ministry: Strengthening Urban Congregations in African American Communities. Ronald Edward Peters and Marsha Snulligan Haney, eds. (pp.83-95)
… And if this leaves you curious for additional context, be sure to check out these books about Kwanzaa founder Dr. Maulana Karenga (or peruse our holdings of books he has authored by clicking here):
- Maulana Karenga : an intellectual portrait. Molefi Kete Asante, 2009.
- Fighting for US: Maulana Karenga, the US organization, and Black cultural nationalism. Scot Brown, 2003.
Happy reading! :)