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Celebrating Kwanzaa: Utilizing 7 principles, 365 days a year

The holiday, which comes after Christmas, highlights traditional values in the African American community.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark — Kwanzaa celebrations are taking place across the country this week. The holiday, which comes after Christmas, highlights traditional values in the African American community.

Kwanzaa focuses on seven principles every day of the week leading up to the new year. 

The Black-owned bookstore Pyramid Art, Books and Custom Framing in Little Rock celebrates Kwanzaa every year. This time around, it's virtual for safety reasons during the pandemic, but it features guests for families and children.

"Our theme this year is Kwanzaa 365, where we take the seven principles and we live them 365 days a year," said Garbo Hearne, owner of the book store. 

The 7 Principles of Kwanzaa: 

  • Umoja = Unity
  • Kujichagulia = Self-Determination
  • Ujima = Collective Work and Responsibility
  • Ujamaa = Cooperative Economics
  • Nia = Purpose
  • Kuuma = Creativity
  • Imani = Faith

"These principles are kind of a guide for people everyday to remind them about what has been that previous year and what could be the year to come," said Raven Cook, educational director with Mosaic Templars Cultural Center.

They've been posting a video a day to their Facebook page to highlight each principle and how to utilize it in your everyday life. 

Cook says Kwanzaa ties African American history to the present day experiences of many African Americans. 

"You have the spirit of real self-determination, but more than anything, pride in who we are as Black people despite the adversity," said Cook. 

Which is important for future generations to help guide and progress their culture with each principle highlighted during Kwanzaa. 

"Each one of them builds on becoming a better person and being a better member of your community," said Hearn. 

  

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