Seven Principles of Kwanzaa: Umoja

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The Kwanzaa principle of umoja focuses on unity of community, nation and race. Learn about the principles of Kwanzaa in this free holiday celebration video from an authority on African-American culture.

Part of the Video Series: Kwanzaa Traditions & Customs
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Masequa Myers and, in this clip, we will talk about the principle of Kwanzaa. The first principle on the first day of Kwanzaa is umoja. You find something, you keep it handy so you can light that first candle each day. Umoja. I would ask all that are in attendance to repeat after us. It's like a call and response. And when I light and say "umoja," you say back to me "umoja," I say "unity," which is the English translation of the word umoja, unity. And what we ask is that everyone who is in attendance repeat after the lighter of the candle, the principle in Swahili and the principle in English. So it will go, "umoja," "umoja" "unity," "unity." And the meaning of that principle is to strive for and maintain togetherness in our family, community, nation and race. Umoja, unity. In our next clip, we will talk about the second day of Kwanzaa and the second principle of Kwanzaa.

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