The Village Project and The Bayview Y held the sixth annual Kwanzaa celebration under the rotunda at San Francisco’s City Hall, outlining the seven guiding principles, or “Nguzo Saba,” of Kwanzaa. The holiday is celebrated to give valuable guidance to all.
Those values, one of which is celebrated during each day of Kwanzaa, include Umoja (unity), Kujichagulia (self-determination), Ujima (collective work and responsibility), Ujamaa (cooperative economics), Nia (purpose), Kuumba (creativity) and Imani (faith).
Maulana Karenga created Kwanzaa in 1966 as the first specifically African-American holiday. Karenga’s goal was to give blacks an alternative to the Christmas holiday and an opportunity to celebrate their history. But as with Cinco De Mayo and St. Patrick’s Day, Kwanzaa is celebrated by many people.
On hand were Supervisor Malia Cohen; “Black Renaissance” television show host Dr. Brenda Wade; and Adrian Williams, executive director of The Village Project and The Village Kids Chorus. During the salute to ancestors, as the libation is being poured, Brother Clint saluted Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Black Panthers, and asked members of the audience to recite names of loved ones that have passed.
On Monday on the White House blog, President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama sent their wishes to all those celebrating Kwanzaa this holiday season. It closed with, “As families across America and around the world light the red, black, and green candles of the Kinara this week, our family sends our well wishes and blessings for a happy and healthy new year.”