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Syracuse University African American Studies department hosts annual Kwanzaa celebration Dec. 7
Syracuse University African American Studies department hosts annual Kwanzaa celebration Dec. 7December 06, 2005Carol K. Masiclatclkim@syr.edu
The Department of African American Studies in The College of Arts and Sciences at Syracuse University will host its annual Kwanzaa celebration on Wednesday, Dec. 7, from 6-8 p.m. in room 219 of Sims Hall on the SU campus.
Mĩcere Gĩthae Mũgo, department chair and professor of African American Studies, will welcome guests and lead the pouring of libations, an important Kwanzaa ritual. Then faculty, staff and students in the department will recite the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa, or “Nguzo Saba.” The recitations will be followed by shared thoughts and reflections and dinner.
Kwanzaa is a non-religious holiday that begins on Dec. 26 and ends on Jan. 1 that honors African American heritage, pride, culture, family and community. It was founded in 1966 by Maulana Ron Karenga, an African American activist and scholar. The word “Kwanzaa” comes from the Swahili phrase “matunda ya kwanza,” which means, “first fruits.” The holiday’s roots date back to the first harvest celebrations in ancient Africa. Observance of the Seven Principles is a key element of Kwanzaa. Each day of the celebration is dedicated to one of the principles:
Umoja (Unity)–To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race.
Kujichagulia (Self-Determination)–To define oneself, name onself, create for oneself and speak for oneself.
Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility)–To build and maintain community together and make one’s brother’s and sister’s problems one’s own problems and solve them together.
Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)–To build and maintain one’s own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together.
Nia (Purpose)–To make the group’s collective vocation the building and developing of one’s community in order to restore the people to their traditional greatness.
Kuumba (Creativity)–To do always as much as one can, in the way one can, in order to leave the community more beautiful and beneficial than when one inherited it.
Imani (Faith)–To believe with all one’s heart in one’s people, one’s parents, one’s teachers, one’s leaders and the righteousness and victory of one’s struggle.
Observed by millions in the United States, Canada, England, the Caribbean and Africa, Kwanzaa centers around gathering family, friends and community; revering the creator and creation; commemorating the past; recommitting to the highest cultural ideals of the African community; and celebrating “the Good of Life.”
This event is free and open to the public. Paid parking is available in visitor lots and garages. For more information, call the department at 443-4302.