Baker reminds of history of Kwanzaa

Published 3:49 pm Friday, December 31, 2021

The Rev. Isaac Baker was among those celebrating Kwanzaa in Suffolk this week, and he took some time to set up a Kwanzaa display at his church, Metropolitan Baptist, as well as to remind folks of the history and significance of Kwanzaa.

According to Baker, Dr. Maulana “Ron” Karenga, also known as Ronald McKinley Everett, founded Kwanzaa in 1966, based on traditions from different parts of Africa. Karenga is a community organizer, activist and author and chairman of the Black Studies Department at California State University Long Beach.

In 1966, he celebrated Kwanzaa as an African American and Pan-African holiday. Today, it is celebrated worldwide to honor traditional African values, Baker noted.

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Its significance lies in its seven principles: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.

“These principles are not only good principles to live by but also universally recognized as proper guides for cohesive socialization,” Baker wrote.

Kwanzaa is celebrated over a seven-day period beginning Dec. 26 and ending Jan. 1.