Background comes in a brief history of Africans before slavery, slavery in America, the secession of the South and the Civil War, the civil rights movement, and the 1966 birth of the holiday. The seven principles teach African and African-American heritage, but they also reflect universal principles that everyone can live by. Bold, realistic illustrations are set off by elegant borders of African fabrics and designs. At the end are instructions on making a cow tail switch and a recipe for benne cakes. A fine primer on a holiday that is fast gaining recognition.