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.
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.”
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.
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!