The seven-day holiday of Kwanzaa begins today, celebrating African-American culture.
Bill Nesmith is a reference librarian at Person County public library in Rocksboro, North Carolina. He says interest in the holiday is growing, with about 13 (m) million people now celebrating the holiday that began in 1966.
He says there are seven principles of Kwanzaa: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.
According to the "official-kwanzaa-website-dot-org," the holiday was created by Maulana Karenga (mah-OO'-lah-nah kah-RING'-gah), a professor in the Department of Black Studies at California State University, Long Beach. It's timed to reflect the history of African harvest celebrations. The name kwanzaa is derived from the Swahili phrase for "first fruit."
The celebration includes candle lightings, discussions and a New Years Eve feast.