20 Celebratory Kwanzaa Quotes – How to Celebrate Kwanzaa


Whether you grew up celebrating Kwanzaa or want to start traditions of your own, it might feel a lil difficult to get in the festive mood when other holidays like Christmas or Hanukkah seem to be recognized more commonly. But like every other day of celebration, one way to really get in a ~mood~ is reminding yourself why you are celebrating in the first place.

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Each of Kwanzaa’s seven days represents an important aspect of African American culture. And we’ve compiled a list of inspiring Kwanzaa quotes that will make this year’s celebration more special.

Below, 20 quotes that capture the true essence of Kwanzaa and will def help you prepare for the seven-day celebration. (Bonus: They even work as perfect captions for your obligatory Kwanzaa Instagram post). Happy holidays!

Powerful quotes to commemorate Kwanzaa:

  1. “The holiday reflects the best of African thought and practice in its reaffirmation of the dignity of the human person in community and culture, the well-being of family and community, the integrity of the environment and our kinship with it, and the rich resource and meaning of a people’s culture.” —Dr. Maulana Karenga
  2. “Kwanzaa is a special time to remember the ancestors, the bridge builders, and the leaders.” —Dorothy Winbush Riley
  3. “We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color.” —Maya Angelou
  4. “We have religious holidays and we have secular holidays. I see Kwanzaa as an opportunity for African Americans to reaffirm ourselves if we choose to, a chance to rebuild and renew our focus. I see Kwanzaa as a holiday of the spirit.”—Jessica Harris
  5. “Our children need the sense of specialness that comes from participating in a known and loved ritual. They need the mastery of self-discipline that comes from order. They need the self-awareness that comes from a knowledge of their past. They need Kwanzaa as a tool for building their future and our own.”—Jessica Harris
  6. “Kwanzaa is a holiday that should be celebrated by everyone, not just the Black community.” —Jacqui Lewis
  7. “Kwanzaa affirms that mothers and fathers of previous generations transmitted African Americans’ existence and persistence to the mothers and fathers of today. Pass it on.” — Dorothy Winbush Riley
  8. “We build our temples for tomorrow, strong as we know how, and we stand on top of the mountain, free within ourselves.” —Langston Hughes
  9. “For Africa to me…is more than a glamorous fact. It is a historical truth. No man can know where he is going unless he knows exactly where he has been and exactly how he arrived at his present place.” —Maya Angelou
    1. To emphasize the idea of unity:

      1. “It is clear that we must find an African solution to our problems, and that this can only be found in African unity. Divided we are weak; united, Africa could become one of the greatest forces for good in the world.” —I Speak of Freedom by Kwame Nkrumah
      2. “In all things that are purely social we can be as separate as the fingers, yet one as the hand in all things essential to mutual progress.” —Booker T. Washington
      3. “So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth.” —Bahá’u’lláh
      4. “In all things that are purely social we can be as separate as the fingers, yet one as the hand in all things essential to mutual progress.” —Booker T. Washington
      5. “The moment we break faith with one another, the sea engulfs us and the light goes out.” —James A. Baldwin
      6. “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” –African Proverb
        1. To highlight the importance of giving back:

          1. “Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” —Martin Luther King Jr.
          2. “Each of us is a being in himself and a being in society, each of us needs to understand himself and understand others, take care of others and be taken care of himself.” – Haniel Long
          3. “A man is called selfish not for pursuing his own good, but for neglecting his neighbor’s.” —Richard Whately
          4. “We are each other’s harvest; we are each other’s business; we are each other’s magnitude and bond.” —Paul Robeson by Gwendolyn Brooks
          5. “We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men.” —Herman Melville
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