Time to Recognize Imani, the Seventh and Final Day of Kwanzaa
Thousands are celebrating Kwanzaa across southwest Atlanta; it's not too late to embrace the seventh principle of faith ("Imani" in Swahili)
Today is the seventh and final day of Kwanzaa and celebrants are recognizing the principle of faith, known as Imani in Swahili.
According to the official Kwanza website, this principle encourages us to "believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle."
Each year millions of African Americans, along with their African brothers and sisters, celebrate Kwanzaa, a seven-day long holiday introduced in 1966 by founder Dr. Maulana Karenga. This year more than three hundred people gathered in Atlanta at the Shrine of the Black Madonna earlier this week to hear the inspirational words of Karenga.
"It's a celebration that brings black people together after the overly commercialized and superficial holiday we know as Christmas, which bears little reflection of Christ anymore," says Marvin Williams, in attendance for the Kwanzaa celebration.
Chairman Ahmed Sekou Toure of the Metro-Atlanta Kwanzaa Association worked tirelessly to bring Dr. Karenga to this year's Kwanzaa celebration throughout the city of Atlanta. "Kwanzaa is more than a celebration it represents a bonding and unity among our people missing on the scene today," Ahmed says during the program at the Shrine.
Founded on seven core principles, Kwanzaa was established from the origins of celebrations given for the first fruits of harvest in Africa. The name Kwanzaa is derived from "matunda ya kwanza" which literally means "first fruits" in Swahili, the most common language spoken in Africa.
The seven principles (The Nguzo Saba) are:
Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility)
Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)
and Imani (Faith)
Karenga stresses Unity and Faith as these tend to be areas of concern and weakness he sees in his race of people. Kwanzaa identifies people in the struggle offering them hope and inspiration in a manner that can be duplicated and repeated around the country and throughout the world working toward the betterment of society.
Said Williams, "Kwanzaa helps us reshape the thinking behind our self image and poor self-esteem into gradually coming into contact with our physiological selves connecting with our identity."