Kwanzaa 2022: Emphasis on foundational rights and the practice of freedom


Karenga, center, with wife Tiamoyo at left, celebrating Kwanzaa at the Rochester Institute of Technology on December 12, 2003. (Public Domain)

Monday December 26, 2022, was the first day of Kwanzaa, an African American and Pan-African holiday in celebration of communitarian values and practices of Continental African and African American culture. The holiday’s founder, Dr. Maulana Karenga in his annual message emphasized foundational rights and the practice of freedom for #kwanzaa2022 holiday week.

HERI ZA KWANZAA. HAPPY KWANZAA to African people everywhere throughout the world African community. And we share these greetings also with all peoples of goodwill and especially with all the oppressed, progressive and struggling peoples of the world. Again, this year we bring and send you all Kwanzaa greetings of celebration, solidarity and continued struggle for a shared good in the world. And in the words and way of our ancestors, we wish for you all things good, pure and beautiful, all the good that heaven grants, the earth produces, and the waters bring forth from their depths. Hotep. Ashe. Heri.

Dr. Karenga created Kwanzaa during the Black Freedom Movement, in the wake of the assassination of Malcolm X and the Watts Revolt to encourage cultural revolution, community self-determination, and revolutionary social change.

This year’s Kwanzaa theme is intended to focus on the foundational right and practice of freedom;

“I speak here of freedom in its inclusive sense, not only freedom from domination deprivation, and degradation so rampant and ruinous in the world, but also of freedom to be ourselves, to express and develop ourselves, to grow and flourish and come into the fullness of ourselves,” said Dr. Karenga.

Kwanzaa is celebrated from December 26, 2022, until January 1, 2022. The seven days within Kwanzaa honor The Seven Principles which are: Unity, Self-Determination, Collective Work and Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativity, and Faith.

Kwanzaa 2023
The seven principles of Kwanzaa with each one represented by a candle lit on each day of the week. Image from Twitter

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