First of the Kwanzaa Seven Principles (Nguzo Saba)
Celebrated December 26th or Day 1 of the Kwanzaa Week
“To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race.”
In “Kwanzaa: A Celebration of Family, Community and Culture” Maulana Karenga (the creator of Kwanzaa) describes unity (umoja) as “a principle and practice of togetherness in all things good and of mutual benefit” and as “a principled and harmonious togetherness, not simply a being together.”
Maulana Karenga also discusses different types of unity including the concepts of “family unity”, “generational unity”, “community unity” and “Pan-African unity” and makes it clear that these concepts are not just a “political slogan”.
On the topic of generational unity, Karenga says “One of the most important expressions of family unity is the respect and collective concern and care for elders” and that based on wisdom gained from their long life experience, elders are given the active and meaningful role and respect of “judges and reconcilers”.
Pan-African unity, as described by Karenga, is the “ultimate level of unity”, the “unity of race” or the “world African community”.