Kwanzaa is an annual African American celebration of family and community that was created in 1966 by a professor of African studies named Maulana Karenga. The holiday lasts for 7 days, and is celebrated by many in the African American and Pan-African communities. Celebrants set up a kinara, a special candle holder that holds seven candles, and one is lit each day from December 26 through January 1 to signify each of the Seven Principles. Karenga explains, “During the holiday, families and communities organize activities around the Nguzo Saba (The Seven Principles): Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (Self-Determination), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity) and lmani (Faith).” Celebrations include sharing special foods, music, dance, poetry and stories. The holiday ends with a day of individual, family, and community reflection. Want to find out more about Kwanzaa? Here are some books to get you started.