Kwanzaa has officially started!
The annual seven-day holiday, which celebrates African American culture and traditions throughout the African diaspora, is bringing joy to households until January 1. Because Kwanzaa is not associated with any particular religion, people can observe both Christmas and Kwanzaa. This “allows it to unite people rather than divide them based on religious belief,” Kelly E. Navies, an oral history museum specialist at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, told USA TODAY.
Each of Kwanzaa’s seven nights is dedicated to a different value: Umoja (unity), Kujichagulia (self-determination), Ujima (collective work and responsibility), Ujamaa (cooperative economics), Nia (purpose), Kuumba (creativity), and Imani (faith). These values are symbolised by the lighting of candles on a kinara, which holds three red candles, three green candles, and a black candle in the centre.
Hallmark, the channel known for its extensive Christmas movie lineup, vowed to include more representation, and a joyful film incorporating both Kwanzaa and Christmas was part of that change.
‘Holiday Traditions’ (2022)
During the holidays, Ella (Lyndie Greenwood) reunites with her ex-boyfriend Griffin (Brooks Darnell), who helps her mend her fractured family. The couple gathers her family for Christmas and Kwanzaa celebrations.
‘Kwanzaa Celebration: The Black Candle’ (2008)
M.K. Asante’s documentary about the history and traditions of Kwanzaa, from its African roots to its connection to the Black Power Movement in the 1960s, is narrated by poet Maya Angelou.
‘Everyone Despises Chris: Everyone Despises Kwanzaa’ (Season 3, Episode 10)
Julius (Terry Crews) decides to celebrate Kwanzaa instead of Christmas. His motivation is less about culture and more about saving money on vacations.
A Rugrats Kwanzaa (Season 8, Episode 16)
Great Aunt T pays a visit to Susie Carmichael (Cree Summer) and her family (Irma P. Hall). T takes charge, throwing a massive Kwanzaa celebration and educating Susie on her family history.