Watch The Black Candle.


Happy Kwanzaa! The 7-day African American and Pan-African holiday begins today. Today’s #DailyRevolution is to honor the holiday by watching The Black Candle, a film by M.K. Asante, Jr.

Kwanzaa was established in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga who is now a professor of Africana Studies at California State University, Long Beach. The author and activist stresses the crucial need to preserve, revitalize, and promote African American culture. The name Kwanzaa is derived from the phrase “matunda ya kwanza” which means “first fruits” in Swahili in reference to first harvest celebrations in Africa which date back to ancient Egypt. There are seven principles of this holiday: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith. The official Kwanzaa website explains that Kwanzaa is:

  • a time of ingathering of the people to reaffirm the bonds between them;

  • a time of special reverence for the creator and creation in thanks and respect for the blessings, bountifulness and beauty of creation;

  • a time for commemoration of the past in pursuit of its lessons and in honor of its models of human excellence, our ancestors;

  • a time of recommitment to our highest cultural ideals in our ongoing effort to always bring forth the best of African cultural thought and practice; and

  • a time for celebration of the Good, the good of life and of existence itself, the good of family, community and culture, the good of the awesome and the ordinary, in a word the good of the divine, natural and social.

Asante Jr.’s film highights the path of the holiday’s growth out of the Black Power Movement in the 1960s to a present-day pan-African holiday celebrated by millions of people all over the world. Narrated by the famous American poet, author, and civil rights activist, Dr. Maya Angelou.

The Black Candle is the first feature film on Kwanzaa. Let’s celebrate this significant holiday by watching it. You can watch the film for free here.