December 26 is the first of the seven days of Kwanzaa, a holiday celebrating African American history and culture. During Kwanzaa, which means "first fruits" in Swahili, African Americans honor their heritage and remember the struggles of Africans in the diaspora. Each night, families light a candle and discuss one of the Nguzo Saba (seven principles). These principles, umoja (unity), kujichagulia (self-determination), ujima (collective work and responsibility), ujamaa (cooperative economics), nia (purpose), kuumba (creativity) and imani (faith), are all ways to improve life in the new year and years to come.
Each of these titles illuminates one of the Nguzo Saba. Read them with the little people in your life during Kwanzaa!
My Family Celebrates Kwanzaa: Learn how to celebrate Kwanzaa with a young boy and his family as he eagerly awaits his turn to light the kinara (candleholder).
Kwanzaa: What is the significance of the colors red, black and green? What foods are eaten during Kwanzaa? What does the word Kwanzaa mean? Learn the answers to these questions in this informative book.
Thank You, Omu!: Omu (meaning "Queen" in Igbo) generously makes enough "thick red stew" to feed and unite her whole neighborhood. What will her community do to honor their elder?
Big Papa and the Time Machine: During a trip through his life, a grandfather teaches his grandchild the meaning of overcoming one's fears to determine their life's path.
Harlem Grown: What do you do when you see a community need? Rally your peers, join together and work for the greater good, of course! This is the story of how a teacher and his students turned a litter-strewn vacant lot into a community garden for all to harvest and enjoy.
What If: A little girl explores all of the ways she can use her mind to be creative.
The Undefeated: Faith in the future means honoring the trials and triumphs of the leaders and heroes of the past.
What other books will you read together during Kwanzaa?