The Complete Kwanzaa: Celebrating Our Cultural Harvest

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9780060927646: The Complete Kwanzaa: Celebrating Our Cultural Harvest

Kwanzaa is the joyous and meaningful holiday when African-Americans reunite with family and friends and pay tribute to their rich cultural heritage. Celebrated from December 26 through January 1, it is an important part of the lives of 18 million people, and it keeps growing in popularity each year. Until now, however, there have been very few resources available to help African-Americans celebrate.

The Complete Kwanzaa is a welcome guide to the cultural foundations of this holiday. It provides comprehensive information on all of its ceremonies, foods, clothing and gift-giving traditions and includes instructions on how to hold a Karamu feast. Folktales, proverbs and stories about successful African-Americans who embody the spirit of the holiday are also included to inspire and instruct the reader. With more facts and wisdom than any other book on the subject, The Complete Kwanzaa is the perfect resource for those who already celebrate Kwanzaa, and those who would like to learn how.

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"All ethnic groups seek acceptance in society and their place in the universal order," writes educator Dorothy Winbush Riley. "And each group, through holidays, demonstrates its interpretation of human experience." For millions of African Americans, the week after Christmas is a time to celebrate Kwanzaa by reflecting upon seven principles, among them creativity, cooperation, and faith, which are considered the foundation of successful societies. Riley elaborates upon each of these principles through a combination of first-person narratives, poetry, folktales, quotations, and proverbs. The section on Kujichaguila (self-determination), for example, includes poems from Riley, Nikki Giovanni, and Serena Gordon, and excerpts from Booker T. Washington's Up from Slavery and Michael Jordan's Rare Air. Ultimately, Riley says, the principles of Kwanzaa cannot be relegated to seven days at the end of the year; if we really want to take Kwanzaa to heart, we must live it in every moment.

From the Publisher:

According to Essence magazine, 18 million African Americans celebrate Kwanzaa. For them, and the millions of others who want to know more about it, this comprehensive guide explains the traditional ceremonies, foods, clothing, and history of this joyful and spiritual holiday.

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Dorothy Winb Riley
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