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Saturday, September 23, 2023

Kwanzaa Family Festival Brings People Together

By Ivan Saul Cutler , Carolina Peacemaker / January 6, 2023

With a clarion and joyous “how you doing?” call of “Habari Gani,” the equally robust response of “Kuumba” heralded Day 6 at the Kwanzaa Family Fest, in an engaging community celebration of the seven-day celebration of African American heritage and culture.

Held in the social hall of Bethel AME Church, the Greensboro Kwanzaa Collective filled most of Kuumba with educational workshops, entertainment, dance, healthy food snacks and acknowledgement of the day’s theme of Creativity into the virtue of: To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.

Mama Dawn Tafari, a founder of the Kwanzaa Collective worked with sister leaders — elders referred to as Mamas — to elevate the day’s activities. During an opening session, Mama Dawn explained Kwanzaa’s ethos as an African American celebration of family, culture and tradition.

“It is a time for us to reach back and commune with our African ancestors so that we can move forward more united, more rejuvenated, more refreshed, and more wise, “ said Tafari, seated near key elements of the celebration.

Each day of Kwanzaa evokes spiritual and community principles which are acknowledged in activity and brightened with a colorful candle kindled on the seven branch kinara. The seven values of African culture: Day 1, Umoja, Unity; Day 2, Kujichagulia, Self-determination; Day 3, Ujima, Collective responsibility; Day 4, Ujamaa, Cooperative economics; Day 5, Nia, Purpose; Day 6, Kuumba, Creativity; and Day 7, Imani, Faith. Kwanzaa began in 1966, created by Dr. Maulana Karenga, a Black power activist and professor of Africana studies.

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