Tag Archives: family

Join us as we celebrate Kwanzaa! Thursday, December 29 – 6 pm to 8:30 pm – at the YWCA

The awesome Parlee, center, and family!

From Parlee Jones:

Community Kwanzaa Celebration

Join us as we celebrate Kwanzaa! Bring a dish (Potluck) and enjoy entertainment and learn about Kwanzaa!

Thursday, December 29

6 pm to 8:30 pm

YWCA (One Salem Square, Worcester, MA 01608)


Kwanzaa: a Time of Reflection, Celebration and Family

By Parlee Jones

Kwanzaa is an African American and Pan-African holiday which celebrates family,community and culture. Celebrated from December 26th through January 1st, its origins are in the first harvest celebrations of African from which it
takes its name. The name Kwanzaa is derived from the phrase “matunda ya kwanza” which means “first fruits”
in Swahili, a Pan-African language which is the most widely spoken African language.

Last winter’s celebration!

The first-fruits celebrations are recorded in African history as far back as ancient Egypt and Nubia and appear in ancient and modern times in other classical African civilizations such as Ashantiland and Yorubaland. These celebrations are also found in ancient and modern times among societies as large as empires (the Zulu) or kingdoms (Swaziland) or smaller societies and groups like the Matabele, onga and Lovedu, all of southeastern Africa.

Kwanzaa builds on the five fundamental activities of Continental African “first fruit” celebrations: gathering; reverence; commemoration; recommitment; and celebration.


Kwanzaa, then, is:

• A time of gathering of the people to reaffirm the bonds between them;

• A time of special reverence for the creator and creation in thanks and respect for the blessings, bountifulness and beauty of creation;

• A time for commemoration of the past in pursuit of its lessons and in honor of its models of human excellence, our ancestors;

• A time of recommitment to our highest cultural ideals in our ongoing effort to always bring forth the best of African cultural thought and practice; and

• A time for celebration of the Good,the good of life and of existence itself, the good of family, community
and culture, the good of the awesome and the ordinary, in a word the good of the divine, naturaland social.”
From: www.officialkwanzaawebsite.org/origins


Dr. Maulana Karenga created Kwanzaa to introduce and reinforce 7 basic values of African culture which contributeto building and reinforcing family,commu-
nity and culture among African American people as well as Africans throughout the world African community. These principles stand at the heart of the origin and meaning of Kwanzaa, for it is these values which are the building blocks of community.

Umoja ~ Unity ~ To strive and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race.

Parlee’s daughter, a WPS grad – and Bucknell sophomore!

Kujichagulia ~ Self-Determination ~To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves.

Ujima ~ Collective Work and Responsibility ~ To build and maintain ourcommunity together and make
our brothers and sisters problems our problems and to solve them together.

Ujamaa ~ Cooperative Economics ~ To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together.

Nia ~ Purpose ~ To make our collective vocation the building and developing of ourcommunity in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.


Kuumba ~ Creativity ~ To do alwaysas much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautifuland beneficial than weinherited it.

Imani ~ Faith ~ To believe with all our hear in our people, our teachers, our leadersand therighteousness and victory of our struggle.

The biggest thing about Kwanzaa we need to remember and practice is that we should be practicing the principles all year round.


That is where you find the strength of Kwanzaa.


Hope you can join us for Worcester’s Kwanzaa Week Celebration.

Each night of Kwanzaa there will be a celebration. Please remember, this is
a family event, so bring your children!
We are creating our village.

Worcester’s Kwanzaa Celebration will be held Thursday, December 29th at 6 pm at the YWCA. It is a potluck, so please bring something to share. No pork
products. Thank you!

Happy Holidaze to you and yours!

In praise of my father


By Edith Morgan

The role of fathers in 2016 has dramatically changed, as everywhere the structure of what is “family” is undergoing great changes, and spouses are having to adjust to alternate expectations.

I think I was lucky, in many ways, to have grown up in what would today be considered a traditional family, where the mother stayed home while the father went out to work, supported the family – and we all lived on what he could bring in. It was not that simple, however, as war and economic upheavals made it necessary to exercise other skills to survive, through turmoil brought into the daily lives of families.

I have already written about the valiant battles my mother fought to keep our family alive. Now it’s time to give proper praise to my father – and the role he played in our family.

My father was perhaps the last of those we can really call a “Renaissance Man.” To me, that means someone very broadly educated, having a basic knowledge and understanding of all fields of human endeavor, being able to understand how they all fit together, and an appreciation of all the arts – in a way, being an academic “Jack of all Trades.” My father was not a practical man; he did not fix things around the house, nor did he do the shopping, cleaning or concern himself with the details of daily living.

But we children (my brother and I) thought of him as a walking encyclopedia. There was no topic on which he could not speak at length, and with detailed knowledge. We used to kid about what would happen if we asked him a question: there was never just a simple “yes” or “no”! All answers had to be properly explained, background given, and rationally justified. My father believed that there always was a rational answer, backed up by history and facts, and he was not a great defender of vagrant opinions.

I recall when he undertook to teach us “Julius Caesar.” It took daily evening sessions at home, as we went through not only every word of the play, but an analysis of all the characters, their psychology and motivation, the history of the Roman empire, and as much background as he could squeeze into our nightly sessions. Everything had to be tied in with background – so we could judge not only what the characters did, but also why. My brother and I used to warn each other and our friends: “Don’t ask dad a question, unless you want a whole course about it!”

He knew, could recognize and name, just about all the classical music by the major composers, and could discourse on how, when, and why they had written as they did.

But above all, he was the only completely honest man I have ever known. My father never tried to cheat the IRS, and always checked every charge at restaurants, often catching errors, both in favor of the restaurant, or in his.
And, above all, he was unerringly certain about what was right and wrong … and lived by that belief.

Cool off with the Worcester Historical Museum!

The Salisbury Connection
Wed., July 17 and Sat., July 20 at 2:00 PM
Worcester Art Museum and Salisbury Mansion
Free (starts in the Lancaster Lobby at WAM)

Join Worcester Historical Museum and the Worcester Art Museum on a tour that explores the taste and evolving style of the Salisbury Family through works in the collection of the Worcester Art Museum and the period rooms of Salisbury Mansion. The tour starts in the Lancaster Lobby of the Worcester Art Museum.

More Info

Tour of Crown Hill Neighborhood
Wednesday, July 17 at 5:30 PM
All Saints Church (10 Irving Street)

Hear stories about Crown Hill’s colorful past on a free docent-led walking tour of Worcester’s oldest residential neighborhood and its newest historic district. For more information call 508.755.7906 or 508.755.1569 or e-mail conbloom@aol.com.

More info

Kids Crafternoons
Wednesday, July 24 at 10:30 AM
Children: $3.00; Adults and Members: Free

Mr. Salisbury sold many items in his store, including beautiful brooches. Both men and women wore brooches to secure cloaks or to decorate their attire. Come in and make a brooch of your own with found materials like fabric, yarn, decorative paper, and more.

More Info

Adopting an older dog‏

By Deb Young

Just as our senior citizens are sometimes disregarded or brushed aside, so too are senior pets.

Older dogs are the least likely to get adopted, but are usually the best to take home.

Older dogs lose their homes for many different reasons,most of them having nothing to do with problems the dog has, but rather with those of the person or family surrendering the dog.

Many folks think dogs who end up at shelters or in rescue are all genetically and behaviorally inferior. But, it is not uncommon for very expensive, well-bred, well-trained dogs to outlive their usefulness or novelty with folks who bought them on impulse and no longer want to take responsibility for them.

Veterinarians say that dogs start to fall into the category of “senior” around the age of 7. However, it depends on size. The smaller the dog, the later in life the dog becomes a senior. Nonetheless, a dog in a shelter can be as young as 5 and still have trouble finding a new home.

Many people automatically think of a puppy when they think of adopting a dog. Puppies are warm and cuddly, and everyone wants to hold and pet them. But puppies demand patience and energy to help them become wonderful family members. Older dogs, however, can be as cute and lovable as puppies, and they often come with many wonderful qualities that puppies take years to grow into.

Five million dogs are killed yearly in U.S. shelters and it is the older generation that goes first. Here are five reasons why to think about adopting an older dog:

1. Older dogs are wiser and calmer. They will more than likely to bond with you on a mature level.

2. Senior pets tend to appreciate the love and care of their owner and the fact that they have been given a second chance of happiness. Older pets in a shelter may suffer from depression because dogs go through a mourning process just like humans do. When a pet is abandoned they form a deeper bond with their new owner, they are more dedicated to making the home happy because they fear being abandoned again. This is your chance to give them joy, and to get that joy back tenfold.

3. Although older dogs may have health problems they do not generally require as much attention and care from you as they start to wind down in their old age. A shorter walk in the woods becomes more preferred than a two hour jog around the fields.

4. Older dogs are often trained to follow commands and are usually toilet trained.

5. Older dogs are easy to assess for behavior and temperament.

Maybe you are reluctant to adopt a senior dog because you fear that your time with your new best friend will be short, bringing that painful time of loss closer. But the privilege of loving a senior dog makes every single day special, as you and your companion share love, friendship, and a special relationship that grows stronger with the knowledge that you have given this fine old dog a second chance at life. The love that grows from this knowledge is stronger than the pain of eventual separation.

While you weigh the risks and benefits of adopting an animal, take a moment to ponder the power of adopting an older pet. If you have the opportunity and resources to enhance the rest of an older pets’ life, embrace it with both arms.

We all deserve to live out the last years of our lives with dignity, love and respect. Give a senior dog a second chance at life and you’ll find the experience will change your life.

Hundreds of performers, visual artists surround Waltham campus for Leonard Bernstein Festival

WALTHAM – Be on the lookout as innovative art emerges from unexpected places at this year’s Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Creative Arts.

Arts events will encompass the campus, indoors and out. Work created especially for the festival will be exhibited, and performance art “happenings” – mash-ups of dance, theater, and music – will pop up in various locations from now to May 1.

The Brandeis Electro-Acoustic Music Studio will sponsor a 12-hour marathon of experimental media and electronic music by an international roster of musicians and composers in conjunction with the Boston Cyberarts Festival.Performers will include Mari Kimura, Michael Lowenstern, Shanna Gutierrez, Krista Reisner, Geoffrey Burleson, Phoenix Ensemble, Phillip Staudlin, and Talea Ensemble.

Waltham artist Judy Thomas’s large-scale sculpture/installation called “Tendrils” will envelop the Shapiro Campus Center.

Among the many student performances, highlights include the irreverent satire of teen angst “Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead,” by Bert V. Royal, directed by Summer Williams of Boston’s Company One; and A Cappela Fest, a charity concert featuring nearly 200 Brandeis students and concluding with a tribute to Michael Jackson. Continue reading Hundreds of performers, visual artists surround Waltham campus for Leonard Bernstein Festival