Text Examples for
African American Heritage

December 26
Kwanzaa Begins

January 15, 2007
Martin Luther King Day

February is Black History Month
Carter G. Woodson Founder

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Count to Ten in Kiswahili:
Just for fun, count to ten in Kiswahili:

1. moja
2. wili
3. tatu
4. nne
5. tano
6. sita
7. saba
8. nane
9. tisa
10. kumi
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Kwanzaa Song:
Kwanzaa is a holiday
Kwanzaa, Kwanzaa, Kwanzaa
Is an African holiday
Seven Principles
Seven Candles
Seven Black days for the African
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Kwanzaa Gifts:
On December 31st gifts are given. Mainly to children, but should always include a book and a heritage symbol. The book is to emphasize the African value and tradition of learning, and the heritage symbol to reaffirm and reinforce the African commitment to tradition and history. After the children receive their gifts they must tell how they will use the seven principles in the upcoming year to improve their life.

The feast is called "Karamu" is also celebrated on December 31st. It is a celebration of food, music and African dance.
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Don't let anyone rob you of your imagination, your creativity, or your curiosity. It's your place in the world, it's your life. Go on an do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live.
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Carter G. Woodson, founder of Black History Month:
"We have a wonderful history behind us...."
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Pearl Bailey:
"There's a period of life when we swallow a knowledge of ourselves and it
becomes either good or sour inside."
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Mary McLeod Bethune:
"For I am my mother's daughter, and the drums of Africa still beat in my
heart. They will not let me rest while there is still a single Negro boy or
girl without a chance to prove his worth."
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Every man is born into the world to do something unique and something distinctive, and if he or she does not do it, it will never be done.
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W.E.B. Du Bois:
"I believe in pride of race and lineage and self; in pride of self so deep as to
scorn injustice to other selves. Especially do I believe in the Negro
Race: in the beauty of its genius, the sweetness of its soul, and its
strength in that meekness which shall yet inherit this turbulent earth."
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Oprah Winfrey:
"I am where I am because of the bridges that I crossed. Sojourner Truth was
a bridge. Harriet Tubman was a bridge. Ida B. Wells was a bridge.
Madame C. J. Walker was a bridge. Fannie Lou Hamer was a bridge."
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The Trumpet of Conscience:
"If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all. And so today I still have a dream."
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African Proverb:
Proverbs are the daughters of experience.
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African Proverb:
He who runs after good fortune runs away from peace.
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African Proverb:
One falsehood spoils a thousand truths.
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African Proverb:
The ruin of a nation begins in the homes of its people.
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African Proverb:
When a king has good counselors, his reign is peaceful.
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African Proverb:
You do not teach the paths of the forest to an old gorilla.
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African Proverb:
The fool speaks, the wise man listens.
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African Proverb:
Do not look where you fell, but where you slipped.
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African Proverb:
When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.
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African Proverb:
Tell me whom you love, and I'll tell you who you are.
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Nigerian Proverb:
When the mouse laughs at the cat, there is a hole nearby.
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Yoruba of Nigeria proverb:
One who damages the character of another damages his own.
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Ethiopian Proverb:
Evil enters like a needle and spreads like an oak tree.
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Ethiopian proverb:
When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion.
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Kenyan Proverb:
He who does not know one thing knows another.
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Kikuyu of Kenya Proverb:
Peace is costly but it is worth the expense.
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African Proverb:
Time is a great story teller.
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African Proverb:
Even a small thorn causes festering.
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African Proverb:
It is the good horse that draws its own cart.
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May you have the hindsight to know where you've been the foresight to know where you're going and the insight to know when you're going too far.
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Matthew 18:19 NIV:
Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.
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Nelson Mandella:
Our Deepest Fear,
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate,
our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, "
"Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?"
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
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Baltasar Gracian (1601 - 1658):
"Know or listen to those who know."
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Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-68);:
Nothing in the world is more dangerous
than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."
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Martin Luther King Jr.:
"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies,
but the silence of our friends".
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Martin Luther King (1929-1968):
"We have flown the air like birds and swum the seas like fishes,
but have yet to learn the simple act of walking the earth like brothers".
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Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968), US clergyman:
"Segregation is the adultery of an illicit intercourse between injustice and immorality."
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African Vegetarian Stew:
4 sm kohlrabies, peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 c couscous or bulgar wheat
1 lg onion, chopped
1/4 c raisins, dark or golden
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
2 zucchini, sliced thick
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
5 tomatoes, fresh or 16 oz can tomatoes
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cumin
15 oz can garbanzo beans
3 c water

Combine all the ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.

Note: Serve the couscous separately, if desired. Parsnips may be substituted for the kohlrabi.

Yield: 8 servings
One Serving = Calories: 241 Carbohydrates: 42 Protein: 8 Fat: 2 Sodium: 22 Potassium: 658 Cholesterol: 0
Exchange Value: 2 Bread Exchanges 2 Vegetable Exchanges
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African Green Pepper And Spinach:
1 med onion, chopped
1 med green pepper, chopped
1 tbs oil
1 med tomato, chopped
1 lb fresh spinach, stems removed
3/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 c peanut butter

Cook and stir onion and green pepper in oil in 3 quart saucepan until onion is tender. Add tomato and spinach. Cover and simmer until spinach is tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in salt, pepper and peanut butter. Heat just until hot.

Yield: 4 servings.
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Sweet Potato Pie:
2 c sweet potatoes, drained
4 T margarine, melted
3 eggs
1 c sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
3/4 c milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 9" pie shell, baked
1/4 c chopped pecans

Use a food processor or fork to mash sweet potatoes together with melted margarine. Blend in eggs, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add milk and vanilla. Pour mixture into baked pie shell. Microwave on 70% (medium high) 7 minutes. Sprinkle pecans over surface of pie. Rotating midway through cooking, microwave on 70 % (medium high) 6 to 8 minutes or until center no longer jiggles.

If you prefer, you can bake it in the oven at 375 degrees for about 35-45 minutes or until it doesn't jiggle.

Yield: 8 servings

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African Squash And Yams (futari):
1 sm onion, chopped, pared & cut into 1" pieces
2 tbs oil
1 c coconut milk
1 lb hubbard squash, pared and cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 medium size yams or sweet potatoes
1/4 ts ground cloves

Cook and stir onion in oil in 10-inch skillet over medium heat until tender. Stir in remaining ingredients. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer 10 minutes. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes longer.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.
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Red Beans and Rice:
2 cups red kidney beans
6 cups water - cold
1 large onion - chopped
1 green pepper -chopped
2 cloves garlic - chopped
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Wash beans in cold water. Drain beans and put in covered pot with cold water. Bring to boil slowly. Add chopped onions, garlic, green pepper, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Simmer for 2 hours stirring occasionally until beans are soft. Mash some of the beans against the side of the pot to make a creamy sauce. Serve with rice. (Serves 6)
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Kwanzaa History:
When was the first Kwanzaa celebration?
December 1966

Who started Kwanzaa?
Kwanzaa was created and developed by Dr. Maulana Karenga.

Is Kwanzaa a religious holiday?
No, Kwanzaa is an African-American cultural holiday

Colors and Decorations

Black, red, and green are the colors of Kwanzaa.
Decorations include African items such as African basket, cloth patterns, art object, and harvest symbols.

What is this called?

Seven Candles: Mishumaa Saba

Candle Holder: Kinara

Unity Cup: Kikombe cha Umoja

Flag: Bendera Ya Taifa

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Kwanzaa Principles:
What are the seven principles?

The Seven Principles, also known as nguzo saba (in-GOO-zoh SAH-bah) are the main ideas that are most important to the celebration of Kwanzaa. Each Principle is represented by one of the seven days of the holiday.

Day 1. Umoja (oo-MOW-jah) means unity.
Day 2. Kujichagulia (koo-jee-chah-GOO-lee-ah) means self-determination.
Day 3. Ujima (oo-JEE-mah) means working together.
Day 4. Ujamaa (oo-JAH-mah) means supporting one another.
Day 5. Nia (NEE-ah) means purpose.
Day 6. Kuumba (koo-OOM-bah) means creativity.
Day 7. Imani (ee-MAH-nee) means faith in ourselves and the world.
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Eulogy for the Martyred Children:
Now I say to you in conclusion,
life is hard,
at times as hard as crucible steel. (Mmm)
It has its bleak and difficult moments.
Like the ever-flowing waters of the river,
life has its moments of drought and its moments of flood. (Yeah)
Like the ever-changing cycle of the seasons,
life has the soothing warmth of its summers
and the piercing chill of its winters. (Yeah)
But if one will hold on,
he will discover that God walks with him, (Yeah. Well)
and that God is able (Yeah) to lift you from the fatigue of despair
to the buoyancy of hope
and transform dark and desolate valleys
into sunlit paths of inner peace. (Mmm)

The prayers quoted on this web page were gathered by the World Prayers Project, a nonprofit public service dedicated to gathering the great prayers from all spiritual traditions around the world into a common archive for the purpose of inspiration, study and cross cultural appreciation. For more information please visit - http://www.worldprayers.org
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An Affirmation of Our Faith:
As men of God, Creator and Maker of All,
we are determined to STAND!
We are Strong and Weak
Rich and Poor;

Do not define us by what we do
and who we know;
We belong to God.

We love the Lord and our families,
We plant and build and play.
We are STRONG.
Even when we hurt so bad that
if we cried out in pain All creation
would groan;
The earth would tremble and shake-
We hold our pain in -
and pretend it's not there

Don't let our masks make you think
we don't care;
We care, We care deeply
We're proud of our fathers, natural and adopted
We honor and respect our mothers at home and afar
Our sisters and brothers are closer than many
Our friends share our growing pains
and make us laugh.
Our wives and partners share a bond with us,
and intimacy with us and God.
Our children are our seed, the essence of our love.
We are ourselves, noble and free,
Bold warriors, gentle guides,
Searching for our destiny.

We remember our history.
We inherit the evils of slavery and racism
We remember the time we've been
"buked and scorned",
The times our parents were humiliated
We remember that Jesus truly loves us.
We know that as men, we can STAND TALL,
Be Somebody,
Do Good,
We are already somebody!
With God's grace we can save
our churches,
our communities,
Our boys,
Our girls,
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A Prayer from Africa:
You are the great God of all the earth and the heavens.
We are so insignificant.
In us there are many defects.
But the power is yours to make and to do what we cannot do.
You know all about us.
For coming down to earth you were despised and mocked, and brutally treated
because of the same defects in the men of those days.
For those men you prayed,
because they did not understand what they were doing.
You came only for what was right.

Give us the courage to struggle in the same way for what is right.
0 Lord., help us who roam about.
Help us who have been placed in Africa and have no dwelling place of our own.
Give us a dwelling place. 0 God, all power is yours in heaven and earth. Amen.
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Kenyan Proverb:
A bad son gives a bad name to his mother.
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