Today marks the first day of Kwanzaa. The African American and Pan-African holiday, which continues through Jan. 1, has its roots in the ashes of a riot.
Maulana Karenga, a professor and chairman of black studies at Cal State Long Beach, created Kwanzaa in 1966. Following the 1965 Watts riots, Karenga was searching for a way to bring African Americans together as a community, according to history.com.
The name Kwanzaa comes from a Swahili phrase that means "first fruits."
Families celebrate Kwanzaa in different ways, but most involve songs, dances, drums and storytelling.
On each of the seven nights, a child lights a candle and one of the seven Kwanzaa principles slated for that evening is discussed.
Those principles are unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.