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Let’s learn about Kwanzaa
There are plenty of dry, didactic books explaining Kwanzaa for new folks – but where are the stories for second- and third-generation families who are well past the need for a primer?
Here are our three favorites – but there’s still plenty of room for authors to create new stories and adventures based on the seven principles of Kwanzaa.
When is it?
- December 26 through January 1
- Li’l Rabbit’s Kwanzaa (ages 4-7)
- Seven Spools of Thread (ages 4+)
- A Kwanzaa Celebration Pop-Up Book (ages 4-8)
Discuss as a family:
- Umoja (unity): In a society that divides people to make them easier to control and oppress, what are the benefits coming together and affirming a larger sense of ‘us‘?
- Kujichagulia (self-determination): Given our country’s history of enslavement, segregation, and mass incarceration, why is the ability to self-identify and choose their path so important to Black people living in the US?
- Ujima (collective work and responsibility): Why is it important for us to recognize our responsibilities in working together for shared safety and freedom?
- Ujamaa (cooperative economics): Why is it important for us to consider where, and with whom, we spend our money and distribute our wealth?
- Nia (purpose): How can we adjust our individual goals to support our wider community?
- Kuumba (creativity): Why should we strive to leave the world better than we found it? Why is it important to take time to create and appreciate beauty and joy even while we struggle?
- Imani (faith): Why is it important for us to work toward a goal that seems out of reach – that we may never see or achieve in our own lifetime?
- How are the rituals and principles of Kwanzaa similar to the ones in our other ancestral and cultural holidays?
- Grownups, register for free virtual bystander intervention training via Right to Be:
Bystander Intervention to Stop Police Sponsored Violence and Anti-Black Racist Harassment
Additional resources to dig deeper into this topic:
- Where are all the Kwanzaa books for kids?
- A sparse list of Kwanzaa Favorites where we’ll add new good finds as they’re published
- Kids Books About Collective Action
- Gathering with family causing holiday stress? Listen to the Come Back to Care podcast on How my Parents & I are breaking our family cycles together
- Black Futures Family Action Toolkit