From which African language did the name, 'Kwanzaa' originate?
'Kwanzaa' is a week-long annual celebration held in the United States and other nations of the African diaspora in the Americas to honor African heritage in African-American culture.
It is observed from December 26 to January 1, culminating in gift-giving and a feast. 'Kwanzaa' was created by Maulana Karenga and was first celebrated in 1966.
American Black Power activist and secular humanist Maulana Karenga created 'Kwanzaa' in 1966 as a specifically African-American holiday, in a spirit comparable to Juneteenth.
According to Karenga, the name 'Kwanzaa' derives from the Swahili phrase 'matunda ya kwanza', meaning "first fruits of the harvest". A more conventional translation would simply be "first fruits".
The choice of Swahili, an East African language, reflects its status as a symbol of Pan-Africanism, especially in the 1960s, although most of the Atlantic slave trade that brought African people to America originated in West Africa.
'Kwanzaa' is a celebration with its roots in the black nationalist movement of the 1960s. The creation of such holidays also underscored an essential premise "you must have a cultural revolution before the violent revolution. The cultural revolution gives identity, purpose, and direction."