Friday, December 29, 2006

Kwanzaa books


Habari Gani! Today is the fourth day of Kwanzaa, the Pan-African festival celebrating family and black culture. Each day of the week long celebration focuses on one of the Ngoza Saba, or Seven Principles. Today the theme is Ujamaa, or cooperative ecconomics. Shopping from local, black-owned businesses is one way to support the local economics of the black community. The red, black and green candles I purchased for our kinara (candle holder) were produced and sold by a local black-owned business.

Since my boys are young we keep our celebration somewhat relaxed. I don't try to go out to events or hold a real feast on the last day, as some families and community groups do. We light the candles, read children's books about the symbols and principles, and talk about what they mean on a child's level. One of my students gave me some bookmarks he and his family had made at their Jack and Jill club Kwanzaa event, illustrating the seven principles. I thought that was lovely of them. Here are some of the books we've read:

Here are some other links, courtesy of Chicken Spagetti. And here is a new-to-me blog I am reading this week with some interesting thoughts on Kwanzaa celebrations and the voices of black men.

I am wondering if any of you participate in Kwanzaa events. Especially those of you in transracial adoptive families, where the parents are white and the kids black. Do you do anything special? What does it mean for your kids?

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