Kwanzaa just passed and while many have put away the kinara for the year, put back the fruits and given the kids the zawadi (gifts), the principles of this past week stay with us.


Whether you celebrate Kwanzaa or not, the 7 principles of the Nguzo Saba are things we can incorporate into our lives all year long. As mothers, wives, sisters, daughters and friends we have tremendous influence in our homes.

When we are at peace, whether it’s through yoga, meditation, prayer or simple silence, our households are as well. Likewise, when we practice empowering principles such as the Nguzo Saba our communities are better for it.

Here are some simple ways we can practice the principles of Kwanzaa all year round and not just the last week of December:


Kwanzaa Symbol - Umoja (unity)
Umoja (Unity)
To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race.

Year Round Practice: Have family game night at least one day a week. Eat dinner together. Attend a religious service weekly. Greet your neighbors. 

Kwanzaa symbol- Kujichagulia (self-determination
Kujichagulia (Self-Determination)
To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves.

Year Round Practice: Be your own motivator FIRST! Then spread that motivation to others. Reaffirm your commitment to being your best self and being apart of the Black community. If you see a void somewhere and you have the skills and ability, fill it, don’t wait for someone else.

Kwanzaa Symbol - Ujima (collective work and responsibility)
Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility)
To build and maintain our community together and make our brother’s and sister’s problems our problems and to solve them together.

Year Round Practice: Volunteer one of your services in your community. If you know someone is in need, reach out to them. Bring food to a new mama. Help raise funds for a family in need

Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)
To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together.

Year Round Practice: SHOP BLACK! ‘Nuff said. Support your local and online black businesses. Seek them out and if you enjoyed the service, product or experience, share it with your tribe. Let’s keep our money growing.

Kwanzaa symbols - Nia (purpose)
Nia (Purpose)
To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.

Year Round Practice: Meditate on what your own purpose and mission is and encourage others to do the same.

Kwanzaa symbol - Kuumba (Creativity)
Kuumba (Creativity)
To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.

Year Round Practice: Embrace your own amazing creativity. Join an art, dance, or drum class. Do crafts with your children. Paint a community mural. Plant a garden in your neighborhood.

Kwanzaa symbol - Imani (faith)
Imani (Faith)
To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

Year Round Practice: Diligently practice your own faith with true meaning. Believe in the unseen and a higher power. Learn about your family’s legacy and honor that through your daily living.

Go on and share these practices with your own communities and incorporate them into your family life year round. Let me know what you’ve tried!

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