We are ending the year on a high note with the celebration of African American Heritage...Kwanzaa! Have you noticed Kwanzaa sometimes ends with one “a” and sometimes with two? It’s because the additional “a” was added so the holiday name has seven letters since there are seven principles of the Nguzo Saba: Umoja, Kujichagulia, Ujima, Ujamaa, Nia, Kuumba and Imani.
THE LANGUAGE OF AFRICAN HERITAGE
Celebration of the African language is significant to Kwanzaa. Unfortunately, language was one of the many things we lost during the period of slavery. With each Kwanzaa principle being a Swahili word, we are connected in a small way to our birthright.
In addition to being the second-largest continent, Africa is one of the most linguistically diverse. Approximately 2,000 languages are spoken there. There are more than 100 million native or second-language speakers of Swahili. This Bantu language is spoken in the African Great Lakes region and other parts of East and Southern Africa.
UNITY WITH AFRICA
Umoja means Unity. The TransAtlantic Slave Trade disconnected us physically, culturally, and spiritually. Umoja reminds us that through restoring our ancestral connections, we can tap into the power of our shared DNA. This strength of this unity helps us thrive. Imagine Kwanzaa as fertilizing seeds of worldwide unity that causes healthy identity and cultural joy to bloom throughout the year.
UMOJA CALL TO ACTION
How will you commit to the principle of UMOJA? Start with an African Ancestry Test Kit to reconnect to your African roots.