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Kwanzaa

Kwanzaa is a time for African-Americans to think about their culture, history and community. The Brain starts getting ready for Kwanzaa a couple of weeks early by decorating the house with Kwanzaa colors and African-American art.

The Brain celebrates Kwanzaa from December 26 through January 1. A teacher named Dr. Maulana Karenga created Kwanzaa in 1966. Kwanzaa means "first fruits" in Swahili.

The Brain places a bunch of things that are symbolic of Kwanzaa on a special mat called a "mkeka." On top is a special candleholder called a "kinara." The kinara holds seven candles called "mishumaa saba."

The Brain scooped a bowl of ice cream with the colors red, black and green. These are the colors of Kwanzaa. The color red symbolizes the struggle for freedom. The color black symbolizes people of African descent. The color green symbolizes the future.

The Brain told me all about the seven important principles of Kwanzaa — one for each day of the celebration. They honor the history and community of African-Americans.

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