The DuSable Museum of African American History

Movies with a Mission—“The Black Candle: A Kwanzaa Celebration”

The Black Candle is a landmark, vibrant documentary that uses Kwanzaa as a vehicle to explore and celebrate the African-American experience.

Narrated by world renowned poet Maya Angelou and directed by award-winning author and filmmaker M.K. Asante, Jr., The Black Candle is an extraordinary, inspirational story about the struggle and triumph of African-American family, community, and culture.

Filmed across the United States, Africa, Europe and the Caribbean, The Black Candle is a timely illumination on why the seven principles of Kwanzaa (unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith) are so important to African-Americans today.

The first feature film on Kwanzaa, The Black Candle traces the holiday’s growth out of the Black Power Movement in the 1960s to its present-day reality as a global, pan-African holiday embraced by over 40 million celebrants.

With vivid cinematography and an all star cast that features the best and brightest from the hip-hop and the civil rights generations, The Black Candle is more than a film about a holiday: it’s a celebration of a people!