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Photo: Shutterstock Kwanzaa is a Black holiday that takes place between December 26 and January 1 each year, during which Black people are encouraged to celebrate their community, culture, and kinship including by reflecting on the Seven Principles, or Nguzo Saba, that characterize some of our shared values as a people. In keeping with The Root tradition and as we (thankfully) approach the end of 2020, we’re marking Kwanzaa by recognizing the people and experiences we feel best embodied the Seven Principles this year. Umoja Umoja—striving for unity in the family, community, nation, and race—is celebrated on the first day of Kwanzaa and is the holiday’s most foundational principle. But when the COVID-19 pandemic barreled into our lives about nine months ago and forced us into isolation and quarantine, it felt like we were being condemned to experience the exact opposite of unity. Then came Black people and music. First out of the gate was DJ D-Nice, with his “Club Quarantine” series on Instagram Live. The veteran deejay told The Root in March that the cancellation of nightlife events caused by the pandemic, plus his well-honed knowledge of music’s ability to bring people together, prompted him to spin tunes while streaming himself live in order to “help lift spirits.” With sets that ran as long as nine hours, D-Nice made space for the definition of unity by gathering more than 100,000 viewers who came to jam out together—including people like Barack Obama, Quincy Jones, and Oprah. Timbaland and Swizz […]