50 Kwanzaa Quotes For Deep Reflection

Are you looking for Kwanzaa quotes? 

We have the Kwanzaa quotes to keep you motivated if you are looking for inspiration for this coming holiday season.

What is Kwanzaa? 

Kwanzaa is a holiday celebrated by African Americans and members of the African diaspora worldwide.  

Check out these cool Kwanzaa facts:

  • Kwanzaa has ancient and modern roots.
  • Kwanzaa draws from harvest celebrations in Africa. 
  • People celebrate Kwanzaa from December 26 to January 1.

Dr. Maulana Karenga, a professor at California State University, Long Beach, is known as the father of Kwanzaa.

He created the holiday in 1966 using aspects of different African harvest celebrations to begin the week-long celebration of Kwanzaa. 

Kwanzaa is derived from the phrase “matunda ya kwanza,” which means “first fruits” in the language of Swahili. 

Each day celebrates a different Nguzo Saba (value or principle). 

The seven principles of Kwanzaa are: 

Imani (faith), Kuumba (creativity), Nia (purpose), Ujamaa (cooperative economics), Ujima (collective work and responsibility), Kujichagulia (self-determination), and Umoja (unity) 

Kwanzaa is unique because families celebrate the holiday their way. 

Common celebration themes include drumming, dancing, singing, storytelling, poetry reading, and an enormous traditional meal. 

Families gather together on the seven nights around a Kinara or candleholder. 

The candles are usually red, black, and green, representing the colors of pan-Africanism. 

Kwanzaa celebrates diversity

Kwanzaa is not a holiday that discriminates. 

You do not have to be African, African American, or of the African diaspora to celebrate Kwanzaa. 

Kwanzaa is for everybody! 

To learn more about Kwanzaa, check out our informative quotes below. 

Kwanzaa quotes by Dr. Maulana Karenga

These quotes are from the founder of Kwanzaa. 

1. “Heri za Kwanzaa!” (Happy Kwanzaa!) — Dr. Maulana Karenga 

2. “Kwanzaa itself is a historical and ongoing act of freedom.” — Dr. Maulana Karenga 

3. “Kwanzaa is a festival of harvest and celebration of the Good.” — Dr. Maulana Karenga 

4. “Kwanzaa also has modern origins rooted in the Black Freedom Movement of the 1960s.” — Dr. Maulana Karenga 

5. “Happy Kwanzaa to African people everywhere throughout the world African community.” — Dr. Maulana Karenga 

6. “Kwanzaa is a special season and celebration of our sacred and expansive selves as African people.” — Dr. Maulana Karenga 

7. “We bring you Kwanzaa greetings of celebration, solidarity, and continuing struggle for good in the world.” — Dr. Maulana Karenga 

8. “Kwanzaa, then, is a time of serious and sustained remembrance, reflection, and recommitment.” — Dr. Maulana Karenga 

9. “And Kwanzaa’s modern origins in the Black Freedom Movement commits it to the achievement of liberation and social justice.” — Dr. Maulana Karenga 

10. “Kwanzaa is a celebration of freedom, of the free space we have created to honor ourselves, to remember, reflect and recommit ourselves.” — Dr. Maulana Karenga 

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Kwanzaa quotes to inspire you

We have a great selection of Kwanzaa quotes below. 

11. “I see Kwanzaa as a holiday of the spirit.” — Jessica Harris

12. “Our children need Kwanzaa as a tool for building their future and our own.” — Jessica Harris

13. “Faith, unity, heritage, and values. Kwanzaa,”— Sarah Ban Breathnach, Simple Abundance

14. “Kwanzaa is a holiday that should be celebrated by everyone, not just the Black community.” — Jacqui Lewis

15. “Kwanzaa is a special time to remember the ancestors, the bridge builders, and the leaders.” — Dorothy Winbush Riley

16. “Christmas dinner? At Susan’s?” I nodded. “We could call it a Kwanzaa dinner if that would improve your mood.”— Robert B. Parker, Silent Night

17. “The symbols of Kwanzaa include crops (mzao) which represents the historical roots of African-Americans in agriculture and also the reward for collective labor.” — Dr. Ali B. Ali-Dinar

18. “At the very heart and center of the celebration of Kwanzaa is the ethical imperative and social obligation of the cooperative creation and sharing of an inclusive Good.” — Dr. Maulana Karenga 

19. “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

20. “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.” — Jessica Harris

Kwanzaa quotes and sayings

This selection of Kwanzaa celebrates the diverse nature of Kwanzaa.

21. “The word “kwanza” is a KiSwahili (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania) word meaning first.” — Dr. Ali B. Ali-Dinar

22. “In its origins in agriculture celebrations, Kwanzaa is as old as agriculture itself and the celebrations of the first fruits.” — Dr. Maulana Karenga 

23. “In fact, one might say that Kwanzaa has similarities with Thanksgiving in the United States or the Yam Festival in Ghana and Nigeria.” — Dr. Ali B. Ali-Dinar

24. “Indeed, it can be said that Kwanzaa is older than agriculture, that is to say, older than large-scale planned and organized farming.” — Dr. Maulana Karenga 

25. “Although people tend to believe that Kwanzaa is essentially a modern holiday founded in 1966 by this author. Actually, it has two origins: ancient and modern.” — Dr. Maulana Karenga 

26. “For Kwanzaa, as a first fruit celebration, is rooted in the natural cycle of the season when the first fruits of a tree, bush, plant, and vine appeared and were harvested by our people.” — Dr. Maulana Karenga 

27. “Kwanzaa is deeply involved and invested in the concept and practice of freedom as an indispensable way to achieve and secure the shared and inclusive good it envisions and urges.” — Dr. Maulana Karenga 

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28. “There’s no Christ child on the lawn at Christmastime!” Ailes said. “They have all this fucking Kwanzaa stuff, they have this Hanukkah shit, and you can’t even get Jesus! They think it’s illegal. You can’t show any flags. So I’m not sending our kid there.” As Stewart turned to leave, Ailes told him to stay in touch. “Call me,” he said.”— Gabriel Sherman, The Loudest Voice in the Room

29. “And thus, this Kwanzaa, as millions of us gather together all over the world throughout the world African community; in celebration of family, community, and culture, we are charged to ask again what it means to be African in the world in times like these of increased turmoil and testing, aggression, oppression and massive destruction of lives and lands in the world?” — Dr. Maulana Karenga 

30. “And he’s the one making a quarter-million dollars an episode—very contentedly, too, from all reports. The eye-searing “Kwanzaa Cake” clip on YouTube, of Sandra Lee doing things with store-bought angel food cake, canned frosting, and corn nuts, instead of being simply the unintentionally hilarious viral video it should be, makes me mad for all humanity.” Anthony Bourdain, Medium Raw

Kwanzaa quotes for Instagram 

These are the perfect Kwanzaa captions. 

31. “Sending warm wishes for a joyful Kwanzaa!”  — Anonymous

32. “Habari Gani! Wishing you a blessed Kwanzaa.”  — Anonymous

33. “Heri za Kwanzaa!” (Swahili for “Happy Kwanzaa!”)  — Anonymous

34. “May you create the best Kwanzaa and happiest New Year.” — Anonymous

35. “Wishing you the joy that pride and unity bring. Happy Kwanzaa.” — Anonymous

36. “Thinking of you during Kwanzaa and sending happy wishes your way!”  — Anonymous

37. “May this Kwanzaa be an especially meaningful one for your whole beautiful family.” Anonymous

38. “Hoping that the New Year takes you all the wonderful places you are determined to go.” — Anonymous

39. “Wishing you happiness at Kwanzaa and faith, unity, and hope in the New Year.” — Anonymous

40. “Hoping Kwanzaa brings you time to enjoy the blessings of family, community, and togetherness.” — Anonymous

Happy Kwanzaa quotes

Celebrate Kwanzaa in style with these quotes. 

41. “Also, Kwanzaa from its inception was an instrument of freedom and thus of our freedom struggle.” — Dr. Maulana Karenga 

 42. “An African American and pan-African holiday, Kwanzaa is, in both conception and practice, a world-encompassing celebration.” — Dr. Maulana Karenga 

43. “We bring and send you Kwanzaa greetings of celebration, solidarity, and continued struggle for a shared good in the world.” — Dr. Maulana Karenga 

44. “The ancient roots of Kwanzaa in the shared African harvest and the celebration of it immediately bring to mind the sacred teachings given to us by our honored ancestors.” — Dr. Maulana Karenga 

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45. “As a pan-African holiday with ancient agricultural origins, Kwanzaa celebrates the good of the earth and carries within it a commitment to protect, preserve and share this good.” — Dr. Maulana Karenga 

46. “Kwanzaa challenges our people to involve themselves in the overarching liberating struggle to build the good community, society, and world we all want, work and struggle for and deserve.” — Dr. Maulana Karenga

47. “Even Kwanzaa’s most essential definition as a celebration of family, community, and culture is a celebration of the shared good in and of family, community, and culture, and ultimately what all this means for the good of the world.” — Dr. Maulana Karenga 

48. “Of all the rich, instructive, uplifting, and expansive ways to express the central meaning and message of Kwanzaa, none is more vital or valuable than our seeing and embracing it as a season and celebration of creating and sharing good in the world.” — Dr. Maulana Karenga

49. “Kwanzaa is a special and unique time and pan-African space to recommit ourselves to our highest values that teach us to live our lives, do our work, and wage our struggles in dignity-affirming, life-enhancing, and world-preserving ways as we continue forward on the upward paths of our honored ancestors.” — Dr. Maulana Karenga 

50. “This season and celebration of Kwanzaa on its 55th anniversary comes at a time when humanity and the world are in crisis: the pandemic of Covid-19 with all its destructive and deadly variants; erosion of the concept and practice of democracy; failed economies; continuing conflict and war and resultant massive displacement of peoples, famine and increased suffering.” — Dr. Maulana Karenga 

Kwanzaa is from the heart

When Dr. Karenga initially created Kwanzaa, it served many purposes.

Kwanzaa not only provided black people in America with an opportunity to celebrate a holiday with African-centered origins but also directly challenged commercialism. 

The theme of a holiday like Christmas is full of cheer and goodwill for our neighbors. However, Christmas has been commercialized, and many people focus on gift buying over the essence of the holiday. 

Part of the Kwanzaa value system includes cooperative group economics and creativity. Kwanzaa is not a holiday where you should spend all your money on gifts. 


Kwanzaa encourages people to use their imagination to make gifts from the heart. 

Kwanzaa bridges the gap between ancient African harvest celebrations and modern-day reflections of gratitude and solidarity. 

Which Kwanzaa quote was your favorite? 

How do you celebrate Kwanzaa? 

Be sure to let us know in the comments section below.

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