PALMDALE – Titled “A Celebration of Family, Community and Culture,” the local NAACP’s annual Kwanzaa celebration drew more than 200 attendees Sunday night (Dec. 29, 2013).
“This is a celebration where we bring together the community to celebrate the rich African American history and the African history…” said NAACP President V. Jessie Smith. “As a community we unite under the banner of love, trust, brotherhood and sisterhood.”
The event featured drummers and dancers, gospel singing and praise dancing, poetry, and reflections on the meaning of Kwanzaa and its seven principles, as told by several of the community’s young leaders and scholars.
Kwanzaa, an annual celebration that takes place from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1, was created in 1966 to celebrate family, community, culture and unity. The foundation of the holiday is built upon a set of unifying principles that give strength and empowerment to the community. During the weeklong celebration, each day is dedicated to one of the seven principles – – Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (Self-Determination), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity) and Imani (Faith). Read more about the history and meaning of Kwanzaa here.
“It’s a misconception that it’s a Black Christmas, but it’s a cultural event that has to do with how we can collectively work together,” said Simone Zulu, adding that people of all races and religons can celebration Kwanzaa. “We all believe in being unified, we all want to determine how our life is going to be, we want cooperative economics, we all have faith, we all are creative, that’s basically the principles of Kwanzaa. It’s just that it has a Swahili name for each of those principles.”
Sights from Kwanzaa celebration 2013
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