Kwanzaa: A Celebration of Family, Community and Culture December 26 — January 1

Day  7 Kwanzaa: This represents the 7th Kwanzaa principle, Imani (ee-MAH-nee) or Faith. Come celebrate KWANZAA at Bethany Baptist Church, 3-5 pm Karamu Fest.

Kwanzaa is a pan-African holiday which celebrates family, community and culture created by Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1966. 

There is no way to understand and appreciate the meaning and message of Kwanzaa without understanding and appreciating its profound and pervasive concern with values. In fact. Kwanzaa’s reason for existence, its length of seven days, its core focus and its foundation are all rooted in its concern with values. Kwanzaa inherits this value concern and focus from Kawaida, the African philosophical framework in which it was created.

Kawaida philosophy is a communitarian African philosophy which is an ongoing synthesis of the best of African thought and practice in constant exchange with the world.

Syracuse Kwanzaa Celebration Day one,”Click” on image to enlarge.

Kwanzaa was created to introduce and reinforce seven basic values of African culture which contribute to building and reinforcing family, community and culture among African American people as well as Africans throughout the world African community.

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These values are called the Nguzo Saba which in Swahili means the Seven Principles. Developed by Dr. Karenga, the Nguzo Saba stand at the heart of the origin and meaning of Kwanzaa, for it is these values which are not only the building blocks for community but also serve to reinforce and enhance them.

For additional information see Annual Founder’s Kwanzaa Message link below.


Annual Founder’s Kwanzaa Message “Reimagining and Remaking the World: A Kwanzaa Commitment to an Inclusive Good”


 Kwanzaa Day 2 – December 27, 2018

Kujichagulia (koo-jee-chah-goo-LEE-ah): Self-Determination

 “Self-Determination” 6 pm – 8 pm. at Cafe Sankofa Co-op,  2323 South Salina St. Syracuse 13205

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Kwanzaa Day 3 – December 28, 2018 

Kwanzaa event this evening “Ujima -Collective Work & Responsibility” 6 pm – 8 pm. at The Westside Initiative 103 Wyoming St. Syracuse 13202 presented by the Cafe Sankofa Co-op.  



Kwanzaa Day 4 – December 29, 2018 

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Kwanzaa: Ujamaa – Cooperative Economics (in collaboration with Amani Bowale)
December 29, 2018 3 – 6 pm at the Dunbar Center, 1453 S. State Street, Syracuse 13205

“Kwanzaa Greetings Syracuse! UJAAMA: Cooperative Economics! Let us commit to the practice/focus/habit of building, developing, and maintaining our own stores, shop, restaurants, boutiques, services, and other businesses… so we can grow, prosper, and profit from our gifts, talents, skills, and services TOGETHER! Think! Support! Love! Buy! — BLACK!”-Jackie Grace

Kwanzaa Day 5 – December 30, 2018 

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Habari Gani? NIA: Purpose! To make our collective Purpose – Mission – Vocation our focus on building, developing, and guiding our families and community always forward toward our Divine Greatness!

Come celebrate KWANZAA at People’s AME Zion Church today 3-5 pm
2306 S. Salina Street, Syracuse 13205






Kwanzaa Day 6 – December 31, 2018

On the sixth day during Kwanzaa the black candle is lit, then the utmost left red, the extreme right green, the next red, the subsequent green and then the final red candle. This represents the 6th principle of Kwanzaa i.e. Kuumba (koo-OOM-bah) or Creativity.

Come celebrate KWANZAA  today at:

Cafe Sankofa Co-op, 
2323 South Salina St.
Syracuse 13205


Kwanzaa Day 7 – January 1, 2019 

Kwanzaa – Imani “click” on image to enlarge.

On the seventh and last day of Kwanzaa, the black candle is lit, then the farthest left red, the utmost right green, the next red candle, the 2nd green candle at the right hand side of the black candle, the final red, then the last and final green candle. This represents the 7th Kwanzaa principle, Imani (ee-MAH-nee) or Faith.

Come celebrate KWANZAA  today at:

Bethany Baptist Church
149 Beattie Street
Syracuse, 13224

3-5 pm Karamu Fest sponsored by the Syracuse Community Health Center

Happy Kwanzaa! Habari Gani? IMANI– FAITH! To believe with all our hearts in our righteous parents, teachers, leaders and Ancestors. We must be bold and believe in our GOD-GIVEN Abilities and Rights to Control our Destiny. “FAITH is the promise of tomorrow at the close of the day. FAITH is the triumph of life in the face of death. FAITH is the assurance that love is sturdier than hate. FAITH is knowing that right is more confident than wrong. And FAITH is the peace that good is more permanent than evil!”

Let Us Come Together!!! –Jackie Grace

Nguzo Saba – The Seven Principles


The Symbols of Kwanzaa

Kwanzaa has seven basic symbols and two supplemental ones. Each represents values and concepts reflective of African culture and contributive to community building and reinforcement. The basic symbols in Swahili and then in English are:

Mazao (The Crops)
These are symbolic of African harvest celebrations and of the rewards of productive and collective labor.

Mkeka (The Mat)
This is symbolic of our tradition and history and therefore, the foundation on which we build.

Kinara (The Candle Holder)
This is symbolic of our roots, our parent people — continental Africans.

Muhindi (The Corn)
This is symbolic of our children and our future which they embody.

Mishumaa Saba (The Seven Candles)
These are symbolic of the Nguzo Saba, the Seven Principles, the matrix and minimum set of values which African people are urged to live by in order to rescue and reconstruct their lives in their own image and according to their own needs.

Kikombe cha Umoja (The Unity Cup)
This is symbolic of the foundational principle and practice of unity which makes all else possible.

Zawadi (The Gifts)
These are symbolic of the labor and love of parents and the commitments made and kept by the children.

The two supplemental symbols are:

Bendera (The Flag)
The colors of the Kwanzaa flag are the colors of the Organization Us, black, red and green; black for the people, red for their struggle, and green for the future and hope that comes from their struggle. It is based on the colors given by the Hon. Marcus Garvey as national colors for African people throughout the world.

Nguzo Saba Poster (Poster of The Seven Principles)

*Summarized from — Maulana Karenga Kwanzaa: A Celebration of Family, Community and Culture 2008, Los Angeles: University of Sankore Press (