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Explore the Craft of Writing American Verse Kwansaba is an African American verse form of praise. The Kwansaba, (swahili kwan - first fruit / saba -principle) was created in 1995 by Eugene B Redmond, East St. Louis Poet Laureate and professor of English at Southern Illinois University-East St. Louis. The form was developed in honor of the celebration of Kwanzaa . The poetic form adopts the number 7 from Kwanzaa's Nguzo Saba (7 principles) as well as embraces its roots in the South African tradition of the Praise Poem. Unity, family Self Determination Work Collectively Cooperative economics Purpose Creativity Faith Kwanzaa is a 7 day celebration of the African-American family encompassing African-American heritage, culture and principles. The celebration was introduced by Dr. Maulana Karenga, African-American educator, following the Watts riots of 1966 with the intent of bringing the African American community together. Kwansaba, the birth of a poetry form The 7 principles of Kwanzaa are unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith. Each day of the celebration focuses on one of the principles. The defining features of Kwansaba are: a celebration of family and African-American culture, a praise poem. a septastich, a poem in 7 lines. measured by 7 words in each line. written with no word exceeding 7 letters. Celebration Blow the trumpet and pound the drums wave the vibrant flags of many lands Hold high the red, white and blue where hope stirs hearts to join hands the diverse colors from this our earth. Each proud in our culture to share with others our talents and unique being. ~~Judi Van Gorder 12-31-2017 Writer's Hand by Carley Moore