TAMPA, Fla. – While some people are winding down Christmas activities, others in the Tampa Bay area are just beginning to celebrate.
Tuesday, Dec. 26, marks the first day of Kwanzaa, a celebration of African culture created in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga.
A professor and chairman of Black Studies at California State University, Long Beach, Karenga combined aspects of harvest celebrations from different African cultures to form the basis of Kwanzaa in hopes of bringing African-Americans together as a community, according to an excerpt from “The Complete Kwanzaa Celebrating Our Cultural Harvest” on History.com.
During each of the seven nights of Kwanzaa, families gather and discuss the different elements of Nguzo Saba, or the seven principles:
• Umoja (pronounced oo-MO-jah), or unity
• Kujichagulia (koo-gee-cha-goo-lee-yah), or self-determination
• Ujima (oo-GEE-mah), or collective work and responsibility
• Ujamaa (oo-JAH-mah), or cooperative economics
• Nia (nee-YAH), or purpose
• Kuumba (koo-OOM-bah), or creativity
• Imani (ee-MAH-nee), or faith
For each night and its respective principle, a child lights one of the candles on the Kinara, a candleholder that represents ancestry. Tuesday, the black candle in the center is lit, and families can discuss the principle of Umoja. One candle is lit each evening, and on the seventh day, Imani, meaningful gifts known as zawadi are exchanged to promote or reward accomplishments and commitments kept.
Here are some of the public events celebrating Kwanzaa in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area:
Tuesday; Dec 26, 2017 @ 6:00 pm
4301 34th Street S. ~ St. Petersburg, FL
Contact: Carla Bristol @ 727-565-3930
KUJICHAGULIA (Self Determination)
Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017 @ 6:00 pm
Images by Anderson; Hosted by: Carla Baker
880 Third Avenue S. ~ St. Petersburg, FL
Contact: Malissia Daneshpour @ 727-822-1122
UJIMA (Collective Work and Responsibility)
Thursday; Dec. 28, 2017 @ 6:00 pm
Reader's Choice Book & Gift Store
4341 34th Street S. ~ St. Petersburg, FL
Contact: L. Shorter @ 813-567-9756
Or T. Bailey @ 727-409-4310
UJAMAA (Cooperative Economics)
Friday, Dec. 29, 2017 @ 6:00 pm
Uniquely Original Art Studio
915 24th Street S. ~ St. Petersburg, FL
Contact: Catherine Weaver @ 727-239-3696
Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017 @ 6:00 pm
St. Petersburg Islamic Center
3762 18th Avenue S. ~ St. Petersburg, FL
Contact: Bro. Wilmore Sadiki @ 727-692-3342
Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017 @ 6:00 pm
Moore's Chapel A.M.E. Church
3037 Fairfield Avenue S. ~ St. Petersburg, FL
Contact: Pastor J. Sykes, Sr. @ 727-954-5918
Monday, Jan. 1, 2018 @ 6:00 pm
Enoch Davis Center & Community
1111 18th Avenue S. ~ St. Petersburg, FL
Bring a dish to share at the 'Karuma'
Contact: L. Buchanan @ 727-893-7134
PASSPORT TO KWANZAA
Mon, January 1, 2018 @ 3:00 PM – 6:30 PM EST
Tampa Heights Community Center
Mama Lubaba - Performing the Kwanzaa Presentation
Kuumba Dancers & Drummers - Music & Dance
African Fashion Show
Madison Family - Kwanzaa Ceremony lighting of the candle
Vendors are Welcome
Dinner & Drinks Provided
Please bring fruit for our Kwanzaa table.
6-7:30 p.m. Dec. 27
St. Mark United Methodist Church
1640 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave., Lakeland
Consists of a brief history of the cultural holiday season
There will also be entertainment by pianist Andrew Brown, poets Phaedra De Jarnette and James Neal and praise dancer Jazmyne Guy.
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