Culture Health Know Your History - Know Your Story


December 26 – January 1

Kwanzaa, or Nguzo Saba (originally Nguzu Saba. The Swahili phrase matunda ya kwanza, meaning “first fruits of the harvest”.[8] A more conventional translation would simply be “first fruits”. Kwanzaa celebrates what its founder called the seven principles of Kwanzaa, or Nguzo Saba (originally Nguzu Saba – the seven principles of African Heritage). They were developed in 1965, a year before Kwanzaa itself. These seven principles comprise Kawaida, a Swahili word meaning “common”. Each of the seven days of Kwanzaa is dedicated to one principle, as follows:[17]

Umoja (Unity): To strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.

Kujichagulia (Self-Determination): To define and name ourselves, as well as to create and speak for ourselves.

Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility): To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers’ and sisters’ problems our problems and to solve them together.

Ujamaa (Cooperative economics): To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.

Nia (Purpose): To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.

Kuumba (Creativity): To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.

Imani (Faith): To believe with all our hearts in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

Kwanzaa celebratory symbols include a mat (Mkeka) on which other symbols are placed: a Kinara (candle holder for seven candlesticks[18]), Mishumaa Saba (seven candles), mazao (crops), Mahindi (corn), a Kikombe cha Umoja (unity cup) for commemorating and giving shukrani (thanks) to African Ancestors, and Zawadi (gifts).

Supplemental representations include a Nguzo Saba poster,[19] the black, red, and green bendera (flag), and African books and artworks – all to represent values and concepts reflective of African culture and contribution to community building and reinforcement.[20] Ears of corn represent the children celebrating and corn may be part of the holiday meal.[21] In homes where Kwanzaa is celebrated, the kinara is placed on a mat known as a mkeka. A number of items are placed around it, including: Corn and crops to symbolize the harvest. A cup called the ikombe cha Umoja that honors one’s African ancestors. Gifts called Zawadi for friends and family.. Many families create elaborate displays that also include flags that represent their African roots and African works of art and handicrafts. Often, each night is marked with a special meal. Communities may stage productions of African dance, host African poetry readings or showcase African art during Kwanzaa.

Education Health Racism


Three-Fifths Compromise, May 25 to September 17, 1787 United States Constitutional Convention

Connecticut Compromise Proportional representation of the states in the House of Representatives, but required the Senate to be weighted equally among the states. Each state would have two representatives.

Compromise of 1790 Was done between Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson with James Madison wherein Hamilton won the decision for the national government to take over and pay the state debts, and Jefferson and Madison obtained the national capital (District of Columbia) for the South. The compromise made possible the passage of the Residence and Funding Acts in July and August 1790

Toussaint Louverture  August/November 1791 – 1801 Freed and ruled the Island of  Santo Domingo/Haiti.

Fugitive Slave Act, February 12, 1793 was made part of the US Constitution, Article 4, Section 2, Clause 3, later superseded by the Thirteenth Amendment.

Louisiana Purchase, September 18, 1803

Missouri Compromise, March 3, 1820

Kansas–Nebraska Act, was passed in 1853, by the 33rd United States Congress and become law May 30, 1854

Compromise, Fugitive Slave Act, September 18,  1850


Martin Robinson Delany

Martin Robison Delany was born free on May 6, 1812, in Charles Town, Virginia, now within West Virginia. Although his father Samuel was enslaved, his mother was a free woman, and Martin took her status under slave law. Both sets of Martin Delany’s grandparents were African. Martin Delany is considered to be the grandfather of Black nationalism.He was also one of the first three blacks admitted to Harvard Medical School. Trained as an assistant and a physician, he treated patients during the cholera epidemics of 1833 and 1854 in Pittsburgh, when many doctors and residents fled the city. Active in recruiting blacks for the United States Colored Troops, he was commissioned as a major, the first African-American field officer in the United States Army during the American Civil War. After the Civil War, he worked for the Freedmen’s Bureau in the South, settling in South Carolina, where he became politically active. He ran unsuccessfully for Lieutenant Governor and was appointed a Trial Judge. Later he switched his party loyalty and worked for the campaign of Democrat Wade Hampton III, who won the 1876 election for governor. 


Alexander Thomas Augusta

Alexander Thomas Augusta, born of free African American parents, in Norfolk, Virginia. Later enrolled at Trinity College of the University of Toronto in 1850. He ran a business as a druggist and chemist. Six years later he received a degree in medicine. Augusta went to Washington, D.C., wrote Abraham Lincoln offering his services as a surgeon and was given a Presidential commission in the Union Army in October 1862. On April 4, 1863, he received a major’s commission as surgeon for African-American troops. This made him the United States Army’s first African-American physician out of eight in the Union Army and its highest-ranking African-American officer at the time.Augusta returned to private practice in Washington, D.C. He was attending surgeon to the Smallpox Hospital in Washington in 1870. He also served on the staff of the local Freedmen’s Hospital and was placed in charge of the hospital in 1863.