Kwanzaa Poem/Harambee by Barb Tilsen on Tuneful Tuesday

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!

Barb Tilsen


  1. Lovely, just lovely! Thank you Barb.

  2. Lovely – and just in time for the celebrations! Great song, and great CD as well.

  3. Love the song, and the gorgeous, flow-y jazzy guitar. Harambe on my wishlist for a world present!

Comments are closed.