Kwanzaa is an African-American celebration established in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga. It is a seven-day, non-heroic, non-religious and non-political celebration of family, community and culture. The Mount Vernon Public library is offering a series of special programs for the community to celebrate the 50th year of practicing the principles exemplified in the values of Kwanzaa: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith. Kwanzaa is Monday, December 26, 2016 through Sunday, January 1, 2017.
As an African-American and Pan-African holiday celebrated by millions throughout the world African community the Mount Vernon Public Library has scheduled a Children’s Kwanzaa Workshop and a Family Kwanzaa Celebration. The MVPL engages in this living cultural tradition which reflects the best of African thought and practice in its reaffirmation of the dignity of the human person in community and culture, the well-being of family and community, the integrity of the environment and our kinship with it, and the rich resource and meaning of a people’s culture.
Children’s Kwanzaa Workshop
Wednesday, December 28th 3:30 – 4:30pm
Get the children ready for a fun-filled cultural experience where they can learn about the beautiful meaning and practices of the festive Kwanzaa season.
The values of Kwanzaa, the Nguzo Saba (The Seven Principles), will be emphasized in ways that children can participate and understand. We encourage parents to participate as well.
Family Kwanzaa Celebration
Thursday, December 29th 6:00pm
Be a part of the Library’s celebration of family, community and culture. Our event has gown increasingly popular over the years. While the typical celebration is a week-long, this one-day event will feature African drummers and dancers as well as the traditional lighting of the candles. Attendees can become familiar with or renew their knowledge of the 7 principles guiding the spirit of Kwanzaa.
Kwanzaa was created to introduce and reinforce seven basic values of African culture which contribute to building and reinforcing family, community and culture among African-American people as well as Africans throughout the world African community. These values are called the Nguzo Saba which in Swahili means the Seven Principles. Developed by Dr. Karenga, the Nguzo Saba stand at the heart of the origin and meaning of Kwanzaa, for it is these values which are not only the building blocks for community but also serve to reinforce and enhance them.
The Nguzo Saba of the seven days of Kwanzaa:
Day 1. Umoja means unity.
Day 2. Kujichagulia means self-determination.
Day 3. Ujima means working together.
Day 4. Ujamaa means supporting each other.
Day 5. Nia means purpose.
Day 6. Kuumba means creativity.
Day 7. Imani means faith, especially faith in ourselves.
For a list of other Kwanzaa Celebrations in Westchester County click here.