KwanzaaHABARI GANI is a Swahili (As in all of my posts, underlined words are links.) phrase, which mean, “What’s the news?”  We ask this question at the start of each of the seven days of Kwanzaa.

HABARI GANI- What’s the news?  We must loudly proclaim that beginning today, we as a people will embrace the Nguzo Saba for the rest of our lives. Before we can embrace the Nguzo Saba, we must proudly and totally embrace Kwanzaa.  In order to embrace Kwanzaa, we must know what it is and what it stands for.

The name Kwanza has its’ origin in the Swahili phrase, “matunda ya kwanza” meaning “first fruits.”  Traditionally, Black Africans spelled Kwanza with only six letters. When Baba  Dr. Maulana Karenga  and his group US  introduced Kwanza to Black African Americans, there were seven children involved in the first celebration, so an extra “a” was added, which spelled Kwanzaa to allow each child to hold a letter.

Baba Dr. Karenga stated  the following, “From the beginning, the essential task of our organization Us has been and remains to provide a philosophy, a set of principles and a program which inspire a personal and social practice that not only satisfies human need but transforms people in the process, making them self conscious agents of their own life and liberation. Such a transformative practice will, of necessity, also lead to the building of moral community and to the constant becoming of the best of what it means to be both African and human in the fullest sense.”

There are seven basic and two supplemental symbols used in Kwanzaa, all of which represent the values and traditions of ancient Black African culture prior to colonization by the White Europeans.  These symbols are Summarized from — Kwanzaa: A Celebration of Family, Community and Culture, Commemorative Edition, Maulana Karenga, 1998, Los Angeles: University of Sankore Press and are as follows:


  • Mazao (The Crops) These are symbolic of African harvest celebrations and of the rewards of productive and collective labor.
  • Mkeka (The Mat) This is symbolic of our tradition and history and therefore, the foundation on which we build.
  • Kinara (The Candle Holder) This is symbolic of our roots, our parent people — continental Africans.
  • Muhindi (The Corn) This is symbolic of our children and our future which they embody.
  • Mishumaa Saba (The Seven Candles) These are symbolic of the Nguzo Saba, the Seven Principles, the matrix and minimum set of values which African people are urged to live by in order to rescue and reconstruct their lives in their own image and according to their own needs.
  • Kikombe cha Umoja (The Unity Cup) This is symbolic of the foundational principle and practice of unity which makes all else possible.
  • Zawadi (The Gifts) These are symbolic of the labor and love of parents and the commitments made and kept by the children.  The two supplemental symbols are:
    • Bendera (The Flag) The colors of the Kwanzaa flag are the colors of the Organization Us, black, red and green; black for the people, red for their struggle, and green for the future and hope that comes from their struggle.  It is based on the colors given by the Honorable Marcus Garvey as national colors for African people throughout the world.
    • Nguzo Saba Poster (Poster of The Seven Principles)

The foundation of Kwanzaa is the Nguzo Saba, which is the seven principles Kwanzaa is built on to reinforce our traditional concept of family, community and heritage.  The Seven Core Principles of the Nguzo Saba are as follows:

  • Umoja (Unity)-Black Africans in general and Black African Americans in particular must understand the necessity of Umoja-Unity.
    • Black African Americans come in all shades of brown; all heights and weights, as well as different educational and socio-economic levels.  To the surprise of many, we have different political affiliations.
    • We also have an array of religious beliefs.  We are Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal, Seventh Day Adventists, Catholics, Muslims, Buddhists, Rastafarians and even Atheists, as well as those religions I have not mentioned.
    • Despite all of our differences, the tie that binds us is that we are all Black Africans first and foremost; this is our commonality.  Because we all have Africa as our foundation, we all have a common goal as well as a common obligation.  Our ancestors fought a good fight against an insanely savage and oppressive people, so that we would be empowered to have a better fight for our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
  • Kujichagulia (Self-Determination)- We must resume the ancient ways of educating ourselves and our children.
    • This means that we must take our children out of these White Christian propaganda schools and begin teaching them about our glorious past.
    • We must first learn, then, teach our children that Black African history is the beginning of world history.  Before the Black Africans, there were no humans on this planet.
    • We must also rewrite the curriculum for America’s public schools because the current curriculum was developed to train our children to become perpetual servants for this White Supremacy system.
  • Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility)
    • We must stop all of this senseless partying and bull-shucking and realize that it is long overdue for self-reliance. Drugs, including alcohol and tobacco are designed by White Supremacists to keep us null and void; in addition to our becoming victims of America’s Criminal Industrial Complex.
    • We must realize that our neighborhoods are dirty, filthy and run-downed because we choose not to clean them up. Poverty should not be synonymous with filth and trash.


  • Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics) We must start giving our dollar$ $ome $en$e.
    • If we are to survive as a race, we must stop enriching the lives of White Supremacists by not spending all of our money with them.
    • We must recognize that all tenants are buying the homes they are living in because their rent money goes towards paying the mortgages of their landlords.
      • Families must pool their money and buy large enough homes for several family members to live in; save their money, including tax refunds and begin purchasing additional homes.  During this economic time is the best time to do this because there is an abundance of foreclosed properties, which we can buy cheaply.
      • We must also recognize that nearly 80% of all retail sales occurs between Thanksgiving and Christmas and less than 5% of these purchases are with other Black African Americans.


  • Nia (Purpose)
    • We must know why we are doing what we are doing and whether it is to our benefit or detriment.
    • A people without a plan, is a people who are planning to fail. We must develop both short-term (3-5 years) and long-term goals.
    • We must also learn to play the games of both chess and monopoly and apply these same strategies to our lives.
      • In chess, we must know our next eight to ten moves and all of the variables in addition to knowing the exact same options that are available to our opponent.
      • In monopoly, we must begin buying all of the properties in the “ghetto”in order to thwart gentrification by the White Supremacist regime.


  • Kuumba (Creativity)
    • We must stop producing these racially detrimental songs and movies and begin creating racially uplifting songs and movies.
    • We must remember that not only did we as a people build both America’s and the world’s great metropolis out of the wilderness, we as a people built the Great Pyramid of Giza  and the Sphinx nearly 20, 000 years ago, while Europeans were still cave dwellers – So what can’t we do once we have UMOJA?


  • Imani (Faith)
    • We must learn the distinction between religion and spirituality.
      • Religion is from Latin which is the word “re-ligere”-meaning to tie, bind, Of course, the Latin language originated with the Roman Catholic Church, which blessed and sanctioned the insanely vicious enslavement of Africans and their progeny throughout the world.
        • Religion also teaches us that God is a foreign entity outside of ourselves and for Black Africans throughout the Diaspora, this God is portrayed as a White man, and His mother is a White woman.
          • What other race of people will allow White people to victimize, brutalize and even murder them, then fall down on their knees, prostrating themselves in front of an imaginary fantasy god, in the image of the same White man that has harmed them and pray not only for salvation for themselves from this White man, they will even pray for forgiveness for their oppressors?


  • Spirituality teaches us that the Universal Spirit dwells within all of us and all we have to do is look within ourselves to find God in us. The same Bible that is used to enslave, dominate and control us says in 1Cor 3:16  that our bodies are God’s temple, so it is foolish to go outside of ourselves looking for the God of the Universe who dwells within all of us.

It is important to note that Kwanzaa is not a religious holiday, nor does it have any religious overtones. In fact, prior to the start of Kwanzaa, all Christmas and Hanukah decorations should be removed from the place of celebration.  This is why Kwanzaa does not begin until the end of both of these traditional holidays.

Another reason for the selection of December 26th, was to allow participants to take advantage of the after Christmas sales, which will give their dollar$ more buying power. Gifts are primarily given to children, on each of the seven nights of Kwanzaa.  Each child must receive a minimum of two gifts per night. One gift must be Afro-centric, reinforcing our bond with our Motherland – Africa.  The second gift must be a book about our people and our struggles. The purpose of books is the reinforcement of Ancient Black Africa’s constant quest for knowledge.

HABARI GANI: (What’s the news?)  The current news is that as a race, we Black African Americans have never been worse off than we are today.  As a race, we are at the top of the list comprising everything negative and at the bottom of the list of everything positive.  As a race, we have the highest rate of unemployment, poverty, incarceration, infant mortality and school dropout just to name a few.   I cannot even say high school dropouts because many of our children drop out before they get to high school.

Let us not forget that we also have the highest homicide (and other violent crimes) rate as well as the highest state sanctioned legal and illegal (execution by cops) executions in the nation, if not the world.

Worst of all, Black African Americans are the primary target for extermination by America’s government sanctioned White Supremacist system (Global 2000 , and The King Alfred Plan ) and we don’t even know it.

Before I go any further, allow me to explain who and what I mean by White Supremacists.  First, I am not referring to the KKK, Skin Heads, Neo Nazis or any other White Racists hate groups. These groups are mere puppets doing the bidding of The Unseen Hand  of a small elite group of predominantly White men (although there are some White women) whose sole purpose is world domination.  These White Supremacists sit behind the scenes controlling all of the politicians, judges, banks, and corporations whose sole agenda is the subjugation and ultimate extermination of all non-White people throughout the world.

In the past, I used to become ticked off because of the constant airing of old and new movies and documentaries depicting how White Supremacists treated Black Africans throughout the Diaspora in general, and Black African Americans in particular.  Every time these movies and documentaries was shown in the media, for me, it was like snatching a scab off a festering emotional wound, and never allowing it to heal.

Then these White Supremacists would have the audacity to tell us as a race that we need to get over our past and move on.  They had the impudence to tell us that slavery has long been over and we (today’s White Supremacists) were not responsible for enslaving your people in the past.  In spite of the fact, that these modern-day White Supremacists are 100% responsible for today’s de-facto slavery.

As foolish as I was, I used to drink this Kool-Aid (reference to Jim Jones) by agreeing with these White Supremacists.

That has changed because they now have the nerve to put out a manifesto on how I should react when (not “if,” because it is just a matter of time) I am stopped by their Gestapo styled police force.

They are not telling the police how they MUST ACT when they stop me and other Black African Americans, because they say it is our responsibility to ensure that we do not upset the cops. These cops can use their Gestapo tactics to kick our doors in, throw flash and percussion grenades on our children ) while they are asleep, yet, we are instructed to not antagonize them in any way.

My eyes and ears are open and I now realize the necessity of constantly making and showing movies and documentaries depicting the past treatment of Black Africans throughout the Diaspora, as well as how we are still being treated by White Supremacists.

By constantly showing these movies and documentaries, new generations of Black African Americans are seeing it for the first time.  The insanity of White Supremacy is that they believe they can keep showing us their insane hatred of Black Africans on TV and in the movies and we will just continue turning the other cheek and praying to their White Jesus for them to discontinue spitefully using and abusing us.

HABARI GANI(WHAT’S THE NEWS?) We must loudly proclaim that we are declaring an end to our pain and suffering by embracing the reality that we are totally responsible for how these White Supremacist cowards treat us.

Many of us who are elders have played “horsey” with our children and younger siblings.  We would get down on all fours and allow the younger ones to get on our backs and ride us like a horse.  We also know that once we grew tired of this game, all we had to do is tell the youngster to get off our backs.  Should they choose not to get off, all we had to do is stand up.  The fact of the matter is that no one can ride your back while you are standing on your feet and not holding them on your back.

We Black Africans throughout the Diaspora in general and especially those of us in America in particular must begin standing on our feet immediately and stop holding onto to these White Supremacists in expectation that they will continue providing crumbs for our needs.  We must realize that we as a people have been begging and pleading with these White Supremacists for hundreds of years to treat us with human dignity and respect and for hundreds of years our pleas have fallen on insanely death ears.

We Black African Americans must realize that the greatest threat to the total genetic extinction of the White race is all of us Black Africans throughout the Diaspora. White Supremacists know and have known since the days of Charles Darwin  that they are an endangered species on the brink of genetic annihilation.  White Supremacists know that their very survival as a people is totally dependent on their ability to genetically control and or exterminate those of us who are of Black African heritage – period.

All Black Africans in the Diaspora in general and every other race on this planet have a common origin. Mother Africa is the place of origin for every man, woman and child on this big blue marble we call earth.  It is long overdue for all living generations of Black African Americans to start doing for ourselves, which includes protecting ourselves from the planned genocide of White Supremacists.

Baba Dr. Maulana Karenga selected UMOJA-unity as the first principle of the Nguzo Saba for specific reasons.


Before we can have KUJICHAGULIA (self-determination), we must first have UMOJA-UNITY.


Before we can have UJIMA (collective work and responsibility), we must first have UMOJA-UNITY!


Before we can have UJAMAA (cooperative economics), we must first have UMOJA-UNITY!


Before we can have NIA (purpose), we must first have UMOJA-UNITY!


Before we can have KUUMBA (creativity), we must first have UMOJA-UNITY!


Before we can have IMANI (faith), we must first have UMOJA-UNITY!


Please allow yourself a few minutes of your time to reflect on ways you can practice UMOJA-UNITY with our Black African American brothers and sisters.


HARAMBE, HARAMBE, HARAMBE (This is a work chant, so let us all get to work –NOW!)

Oh what a blessing it is that my people do not read, think or use common sense says the Pastors, Pimps, and Politicians.



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