The second annual Kwanzaa Celebration will be held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, at the Gail Borden Public Library.
Co-sponsored by the Elgin Cultural Arts Commission and Gail Borden Public Library, the free, family-friendly event will include storytelling, music, dance and activities around each of the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa.
The event will feature several local artists and community groups as well as Chicago-based storytellers Kucha and Baba Tony, who have performed at several local schools and Elgin’s International Festival.
Kucha and Baba Tony will lead the audience through an interactive celebration of Kwanzaa, including storytelling, music and the symbolic lighting of the candles. Kucha, whose name means “dawning” or “first light” in Ki-Swahili, believes that celebrating Kwanzaa is especially important for African-American children.
“Kwanzaa speaks directly to our roots — our children,” Kucha said. “Our children are exposed to so many negative things in our society today. Kwanzaa reinforces positive principles to live by in hopes of guiding our youth, making them stronger, more responsible members of society. It is a way to start the New Year off right, by encouraging our children to not only survive, but to excel.”
Kwanzaa is an African-American and pan-African holiday dedicated to the celebration of family, community and culture. Created in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga, a professor of Africana Studies, Kwanzaa is a seven-day cultural festival that begins Dec. 26 and ends Jan. 1.
Kwanzaa is a unique blend of values and practices of African and African-American culture. During the holiday, families and communities organize activities around the Nguzo Saba (The Seven Principles):
- Umoja (Unity)
- Kujichagulia (Self-Determination)
- Ujima (Collective Work & Responsibility)
- Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)
- Nia (Purpose)
- Kuumba (Creativity)
- Imani (Faith)
Participants also celebrate with feasts (karamu), music, dance, poetry, narratives and end the holiday with a day dedicated to reflection and recommitment to Nguzo Saba.
SOURCE: city of Elgin news release