Lighting Kwanzaa candles

Kwanzaa

While celebrated early on campus, Kwanzaa is a week-long holiday, from Dec. 26 through Jan. 1, celebrated by many people of the African diaspora. It is a time to reflect on your actions over the previous year in regard to supporting the diaspora and to renew your commitments for the following year.

Our week-long 2020 Kwanzaa event (Nov. 4–13) will celebrate the contributions of the African diaspora, family and the community through the seven principles of the Nguzo Saba. The campus community will have an opportunity to learn about the history and principles of Kwanzaa as well as finding their own ways of celebrating Kwanzaa.

History of Kwanzaa

Kwanzaa includes 7 days of practice of Nguzo Saba, practices that center the upliftment and wellness of the Black community. It culminates with Karamu Ya Iman, a feast of faith and the sharing of gifts. Kwanzaa was first celebrated in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga, its creator.

At NC State we celebrate Kwanzaa early based on the university academic break. We teach the principles of Kwanzaa and engage them so as to help our campus community find new ways to center Black joy, resilience, innovation, and fulfillment in anti-consumerist ways.

Principles of Kwanzaa

  1. Umoja (Unity): maintaining unity as a family, community, and race of people.
  2. Kujichagulia (Self-Determination): defining, naming, and creating and speaking for ourselves.
  3. Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility): building and maintaining our community–solving problems together.
  4. Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics: building and maintaining retail stores and other businesses and to profit from these ventures.
  5. Nia (Purpose): work collectively to build communities that will restore the greatness of African people.
  6. Kuumba (Creativity): to find new, innovative ways to leave communities of African descent in more beautiful and beneficial ways than the community inherited.
  7. Imani (Faith): the belief in God, family, heritage, leaders, and others that will leave to the victory of Africans around the world.

Calendar of Events

Engage with us daily on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter @aaculturalcenter. We’ll be sharing the history of Kwanzaa, alternative practices for Kwanzaa, and multiple ways of engagement to get you started for Kwanzaa this year!