BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Community leaders in West Baltimore are hoping the celebration of the Kwanzaa holiday can be a catalyst to unify the city.

Kwanzaa has seven founding principles, and Wednesday’s lesson was “Kujichagula,” which means self-determination.

“When people are working together we can find a way to empower ourselves,” Charlene Collier said.

The week-long holiday honors the past while also building for the future.

The holiday celebrates seven founding principles: unity, self-determination, economics, responsibility, creativity, purpose and faith. All lessons, some believe, could lead to better lives and a better Baltimore.

“Those principles can be implemented throughout our lives everyday and throughout the calendar year,” Collier said. “There is a void in our community. A lot of people want to make connections, but they don’t know where.”

The holiday aims to reconnect the African American community with its roots.

“Everything is collective. Collective work, collective faith collective creativity,” Collier said.

Kwanzaa ends on January 1.

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  1. Does Kwanzaa celebrate single motherhood, physical abuse, prostitution, welfare and drug addiction?

    Born black, but escape if you can.

    “Celebrate good times, come on.” – Kool and the Gang.

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