Happy Kwanzaa: Nia Day

 Defining Kwanzaa

Kwanzaa is an African American holiday which highlights 7 principles (Umoja/Unity, Kujichagulia/Self Determination, Ujima/ Collective Work and Responsibility, Ujamaa/Cooperative Economics, Nia/Purpose, Kuumba/Creativity, and Imani/Faith) which corresponds to each of the seven days of Kwanzaa. The family and community are the context in which Kwanzaa is celebrated. Kwanzaa is a non religious holiday, celebrate by those of all faiths.

Defining Nia: The duty and obligation of African Americans to contribute to the noble goal of nation building, i.e. recovering our history and elevating African Americans to a position and status greatness in the world.

Enlarged Purpose

The Nia Principle is the enlarged purpose of investing in our people and our future. It obligates African American to work in an organized fashion to build our collective lives, beginning with the family. The African proverb says “the ruin of a people begins in the family.” Conversely, the promise and possibility of a people begins in the family and extends to the school. These two institutions are critical to the success and liberation of African American people.

The Libation Statement

This is an optional Kwanzaa activity. The pouring of libation is for family members and love ones as well as historical figures who have passed away. They made it possible for us to live with greater freedom and enriched our lives in infinite ways. Therefore, we remember our family members-parents, grandparents and their parents by pouring libation and calling for their names. In doing this we keep alive their memory and spirit. This we owe to them.

The Nia Day Commitment

The Nia Principle directs the family to discuss ways in which each member will contribute to investing in and building stronger communities that contribute to the noble effort of nation-building. Key to this discussion is children doing well in school and parent s and adults investing time, resources and energy into their communities.

The Candle Lighting Activity

On the fifth day of Kwanzaa, the family lights the green candle. This candle is symbolic the collective prosperity. Kwanzaa commitments are made around the Purpose principle.

The Family Activity

During Kwanzaa the family engages in a family activity that reinforces the Nia Principle.





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