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The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa


The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa

Kwanzaa is an African American and pan-African seven-day cultural festival that is celebrated every December 26 to January 1. Like most festivals, Kwanzaa incorporates music as an essential element of its celebration. The purpose of Kwanzaa is to celebrate African American heritage, family and community.

Each of the seven 2-minute segments of The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa focuses on the specific principle of that day/date, and sheds a bit of light on either the principle itself, or some element of the celebration. The goal of these segments is to introduce audiences to the celebration and encourage an understanding of inclusion and diverse perspectives.

Click to explore each day's principle and listen to the spot.
December 26th, the 1st day of Kwanzaa, the principle is Umoja or Unity.
December 27th,the 2nd day of Kwanzaa, the principle is Kujichagulia, which means self-determination.
December 28th, the 3rd day of Kwanzaa, the principle is Ujima, which means collective work and responsibility.
December 29th, the 4th day of Kwanzaa, the principle is Ujamaa, which means cooperative economics.
December 30th, the 5th day of Kwanzaa, the principle is Nia, which means purpose.
December 31st, the 6th day of Kwanzaa, the principle is Kuumba, which means creativity.
January 1st, the 7th day of Kwanzaa, the principle is Imani, which means faith.

Kearstin Piper Brown, Eric Logan

Talent: Soprano Kearstin Piper Brown. Kearstin has performed with opera companies and orchestras around the world, including the Dallas Symphony, New Orleans Opera, Syracuse Opera, Finger Lakes Opera, the Gateways Music Festival, Williamsburg Opera, San Francisco Opera, Opera Memphis, and Teatro di San Carlo. In early 2022, after a COVID hiatus, Kearstin will resume leading the cast in the world premiere of Lynn Nottage and Ricky Ian Gordon’s Intimate Apparel at Lincoln Center.

Baritone Eric Logan is an IT and Project Manager with the City of Rochester, and a regular soloist with a variety of Rochester ensembles, including the Rochester Oratorio Society. He is active in the cultural arts community, in civil rights, economic empowerment, environment and human rights, and has served on the WXXI Board and Advisory Council.

Composer Valerie Coleman

Music: The music used in these spots is Grammy nominated flutist and composer Valerie Coleman’s Umoja based on the first principle of Kwanzaa – Umoja, or Unity. This rendition is performed by the Imani Winds, a group whose name comes from the seventh principle of Kwanzaa, Imani or faith. Valerie Coleman is the original flutist of the Imani Winds.

WXXI celebrates Kwanzaa and the principles that reflect and recommit to the collective achievement of a better life for our families, community and our people.

Support for The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa is provided in part by Rochester Area Community Foundation.