Text Size
Decrease Font Decrease Font
Increase Font Increase Font

In The Classroom

The Black Candle is a great teaching tool for educators. The definitive film on Kwanzaa, The Black Candle provides both historical depth and contemporary relevance. Below you'll find discussion questions, a glossary of terms, and a video assignment.

Discussion Questions about The Black Candle

1. What does the black candle represent?
2. What does Kiri Davis' film A Girl Like Me tell us?
3. What is the difference between cultural retentions and cultural creations?
4. What's the significance of the "Lift Every Voice and Sing" montage?
5. When and where was Kwanzaa first celebrated?
6. What was the social context in which Kwanzaa was created?
7. What are some of the factors that lead to Kwanzaa's growth?
8. What is the importance of the scene in Paris?

Video Assignment

Research and discuss the people named in this montage:

Glossary of Kwanzaa-related Terms in The Black Candle

Kwanzaa noun, African-American cultural holiday.
Bendera noun, flag, banner.
Harambee noun, cooperative society.
Habari gani? phrase, What's the news?
Imani noun, faith.
Karamu noun, banquet, feast.
Kikombe cha Umoja phrase, unity cup.
Kinara noun, candle holder.
Kiswahili noun, Swahili (ki- (language) + swahili (the Swahili region).
Kujichagulia noun, self-determination.
Kuumba noun, creativity.
Kwanza adjective, first.
Matunda ya Kwanzaa phrase, first fruits.
Mazao noun, produce (fruit, nuts, etc.).
Mkeka noun, mat.
Mishumaa Saba phrase, seven candles.
Mshumaa noun, pl mishumaa, candle.
Muhindi noun, maize plant (corn).
Nia noun, purpose.
Nguzo Saba phrase, seven principles
Nzuri Kwanzaa phrase, Good Kwanzaa
Swahili adjective, of the Swahili people or region.
Ujamaa noun, cooperative economics.
Ujima noun, neighborhood cooperation, collective work and responsibility.
Umoja noun, unity.
Zawadi noun, menento, present, gift.