GBH Openvault

Say Brother; Kwanzaa; The meaning of Kwanzaa

Part of Say Brother.


An excerpt from a program that focuses on the meaning and celebration of Kwanzaa. Through interviews conducted by children discovering the meaning of Kwanzaa and an in-studio ceremony, Say Brother examines, with the help of Brother Imara, Kwanzaa's ceremonial elements (straw mat, candle holder, candles), the seven principles celebrated during Kwanzaa (unity, self determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith), the "first fruits," the difference between Kwanzaa and Christmas, and the meaning of the unity cup and the ears of corn placed on the ceremonial table. The second half of the program contains a mime performance by Halim Adbur Rashid (Fred Johnson), "Access" (with Jackie W. Cooper, Director of the Roxbury Alcoholic Intervention Center on what the Center does), an in-studio performance by the Helen Hollins Singers (gospel), "Information" (on the Highland Park Free School), and the "Community Calendar." Produced by Marita Rivero. Directed by Conrad White.

License Clip
Say Brother
Program Number



The meaning of Kwanzaa

Series Description

Say Brother is WGBH's longest running public affairs television program by, for and about African Americans, and is now known as Basic Black. Since its inception in 1968, Say Brother has featured the voices of both locally and nationally known African American artists, athletes, performers, politicians, professionals, and writers including: Muhammad Ali, Maya Angelou, Thomas Atkins, Amiri Baraka, Doris Bunte, Julian Bond, Stokely Carmichael, Louis Farrakhan, Nikki Giovanni, Odetta Gordon, Henry Hampton, Benjamin Hooks, Jesse Jackson, Hubie Jones, Mel King, Eartha Kitt, Elma Lewis, Haki Madhubuti, Wallace D. Muhammad, Charles Ogletree, Babatunde Olatunji, Byron Rushing, Owusu Sadaukai, and Sonia Sanchez. Series release date: 7/15/1968

Program Description


Asset Type


Media Type


Roxbury Alcoholic Intervention Center
Johnson, Fred (Halim Adbur Rashid)
Civil rights
Cooper, Jackie W.
Highland Park Free School
African Americans--Folklore
Helen Hollins Singers, The (Musical group)
Race and Ethnicity
Rivero, Marita (Producer)
Barrow-Murray, Barbara (Associate Producer)
White, Conrad (Director)
Sullivan, John L. (Studio Technician)
Spooner, Dighton (Researcher)
LeCain, Larry (Studio Technician)
Plausse, John (Studio Technician)
Johnson, Henry (Filmmaker)
Boston Art Ensemble (Theme Music)
Cogell, Lloyd (Still Photography)
Correia, Dennis (Engineer)
Crane, David (Videotape Engineer)
Hutton, David (Videotape Engineer)
MacDonald, Greg (Studio Technician)
Farrier, Stephen (Community Coordinator)
Koppel, Tiit (Studio Technician)
Handyside, Keith (Engineer)
Bordett, Bruce (Studio Technician)
Smith, Kathy (Studio Technician)
Charette, Bill (Studio Technician)
St. Onge, David (Videotape Engineer)
Lane, Frank (Studio Technician)
Cross, June (Community Coordinator)
Fairweather, Bill (Engineer)
Balhatchet, Tom (Engineer)
Nicholas , Huntley, Jr. (Film Sound)
Simons, Fred (Videotape Engineer)
Chigas, Basil (Studio Technician)
Holden, Dick (Studio Technician)
Floyd, Michael (Studio Technician)
MacKnight, John (Videotape Engineer)
Kane, Pat (Videotape Engineer)
Wilson, Bob (Studio Technician)
Wareham, Skip (Studio Technician)
McGuire Nicholas, Sallie (Production Assistant)
Thomas, Andrew (Engineer)
Buccheri, Ron (Studio Technician)
Publication Information
WGBH Educational Foundation
Chicago: “Say Brother; Kwanzaa; The meaning of Kwanzaa,” 12/19/1974, GBH Archives, accessed February 23, 2024,
MLA: “Say Brother; Kwanzaa; The meaning of Kwanzaa.” 12/19/1974. GBH Archives. Web. February 23, 2024. <>.
APA: Say Brother; Kwanzaa; The meaning of Kwanzaa. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
If you have more information about this item, we want to know! Please contact us, including the URL.