The Braided Bunch, a creative collective pushing positive images for people of color, got together for a year-end project and were completely unimpressed with how much they knew about the holiday as a unit. Upon gathering more information, and agreeing with its traditional principles, the bunch felt an obligation to create an awareness for their online communities. Thus bringing the scenes of the Browns speaking over their favorite books and sharing the dialogue on which the meaning of Kwanzaa is strengthened.
KWANZAA is a week-long celebration held in the United States and in other nations of the African diaspora in the Americas. The celebration honors African heritage in African-American culture and is observed from December 26th to January 1st, culminating in a feast and gift-giving like many of our favorite holidays. The first celebration happened in 1966-67, created by Maulana Karenga, and was built on seven core principles (called the Nguzo Saba in Swahili), one principle for each of the seven days, representing the living practices that helped and inspired our African ancestors to endure.
KWANZAA’s celebration traditionally call for symbols including the mat (mkeka) on which other symbols are placed, the Kinara (candle holder) and it’s seven candles (Mishumaa Sabaa), Mazao (crops), Muhindi (corn), a Unity Cup ( Kikombe cha Umoj) for commemorating and giving Shukrani (thanks) to our African ancestors, and Zawadi (gifts). Supplemental representations include the black red and green flag (or bandera), and Books on our African heritage — all to represent values and concepts reflective of African culture and contribution to community building and reinforcement.
For more information on Kwanzaa or general positive images for black and brown people, follow via Instagram at @TheBraidedBunch_ or search the hashtag #TheBraidedBunch