Kwanzaa Documentary: ‘The Black Candle’
Posted on December 26, 2008 at 8:00 am
The documentary The Black Candle: A Kwanzaa Celebration, narrated by Maya Angelou, uses the holiday of Kwanzaa to explore the African-American experience. The holiday was created by Dr. Maulana Karenga, a professor of Africana studies, as a way to recognize and celebrate the unique experience of African-Americans. Family, history, and culture are a part of the seven-day celebration that begins the day after Christmas. Each night a candle is lit to symbolize one of the principles of Kwanzaa:
* Umoja (oo-MO-jah) Unity stresses the importance of togetherness for the family and the community, which is reflected in the African saying, “I am We,” or “I am because We are.”
* Kujichagulia (koo-gee-cha-goo-LEE-yah) Self-Determination requires that we define our common interests and make decisions that are in the best interest of our family and community.
* Ujima (oo-GEE-mah) Collective Work and Responsibility reminds us of our obligation to the past, present and future, and that we have a role to play in the community, society, and world.
* Ujamaa (oo-JAH-mah) Cooperative economics emphasizes our collective economic strength and encourages us to meet common needs through mutual support.
* Nia (NEE-yah) Purpose encourages us to look within ourselves and to set personal goals that are beneficial to the community.
* Kuumba (koo-OOM-bah) Creativity makes use of our creative energies to build and maintain a strong and vibrant community.
* Imani (ee-MAH-nee) Faith focuses on honoring the best of our traditions, draws upon the best in ourselves, and helps us strive for a higher level of life for humankind, by affirming our self-worth and confidence in our ability to succeed and triumph in righteous struggle.
The documentary traces the evolution of the holiday from the Black Power Movement in the 1960s to its a global celebration with over 40 million participants. Happy Kwanzaa!