Member Barb Tilsen shares this Kwanzaa poem just in time for the holiday.
Harambee! is Swahili for unity, “let’s all pull together to see what we can make.” I wrote this poem in 1995 and song in 1994 to sing with children about the beautiful African-American seven-day celebration of Kwanzaa in December. So many of the traditions of December celebrations have common themes that center on light and a wish for a peaceful world—lighting the menorah for Chanukah, the candles for Solstice, lights on the Christmas tree, the shining candles on the kinara for Kwanzaa. I love to weave the songs together that connect these common themes.
Seven candles shining bright
Seven candles that we light
Seven thoughts for seven days
To guide and help show us the way
One candle is black – black!
Three candles are red – red!
Three candles are green – green!
Light our way, light our way
And we say, and we say Harambee! Harambee!