Kwanzaa is a holiday born out of an amalgamation of rich cultures and created by the ingenuity of Dr. Maulana Karenga. For these seven sweet days of the year, the opportunity arises to celebrate Black culture and community. If baby is bound to be born in this time, what better way to celebrate their heritage than to do it every day? Kwanzaa baby girl and boy names are here to win your heart and spread the word about Black cultural appreciation....
Dr. Maulana Karenga was a professor of Africana Studies at California State University and, in 1966, created this holiday to celebrate community without invoking any denominations of faith. But rather there are seven key principles that Kwanzaa — meaning “first” in Swahili — stands on. Kwanzaa celebrates the principles of unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith. In Swahili these principles are umoja, kujichagulia, ujima, ujamaa, nia, kuumba, and imani respectively.
Teaching baby these lessons and celebrations of Black culture can be a cornerstone of your holiday seasons with them. Kwanzaa names embody Kwanzaa’s essence; a strong African influence but upheld as tradition in America. Swahili names like Baraka and Zuri are here to make Kwanzaa names feel like home for baby. Likewise are the various names pulled from Nigeria and Ghana and other African names with uncertain specific origins.
Though there is a side of history with Dr. Karenga himself that absolutely deserves to be noted, the holiday itself has moved past its creator. To celebrate Kwanzaa is to celebrate Black communities from all over while shining the light on the strength, perseverance, and vibrancy of Black people in America. A Kwanzaa name for baby is a name that will remind them of their culture and the identity they should be proud of every day.
Did you know?
In similar practice to Hanukkah ritual, Kwanzaa uses candles for representation. In Kwanzaa tradition, though an entirely secular holiday, there are seven-space candle holders to represent the principles on which Kwanzaa stands. But unlike the menorah, these candles are color-coded. There is a black candle for symbolizing the people themselves, three red candles for the people’s bloodshed, and three green candles for the future’s possibilities.