Week of activities marks 45th anniversary of Kwanzaa
In celebration of the 45th anniversary of Kwanzaa, the Kwanzaa Ujima Collective has organized a citywide Kwanzaa Week Celebrations.
The Kwanzaa Ujima Collective is comprised of a broad spectrum of community organizations and institutions dedicated to the principle and practice of unity, and sharing the central Kwanzaa message of celebrating family, community and culture. It includes The African American Cultural Center (Us), The Brotherhood Crusade, I Choose Life, KRST Unity Center of Afrakan Spiritual Science, The Los Angeles Sentinel, the Organization Us, the California African American Museum and Zambezi Bazaar.
Monday, Dec. 26, 6 p.m.
Umoja (Unity) night candle-lighting ceremony and celebration. An in-gathering of the community with music, refreshments and wishes from community leaders and organizations to mark the beginning of Kwanzaa.
Location: California African American Museum, 600 State Drive, Exposition Park, Los Angeles. Please bring clean, warm blankets and cl othing for the needy. Sponsored by Kwanzaa Ujima Collective. For more information, (323) 299-6124
Tuesday, Dec. 27, 6:30 p.m.
Kujichagulia (Self-determination) celebration. “What is the meaning of Leimert Park? Seven Questions.
Location: Zambezi Bazaar, 4334 Degnan Blvd., Los Angeles. Sponsored by Zambezi Bazaar. For more information, (323) 299-6383.
Wednesday, Dec. 28, 6 p.m.
Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility). “Sex, Good Cheer and Wise Choice: Making it Through the Holidays.”
Location: Blessed Family Covenant Church, 325 N. Hillcrest Blvd., Inglewood. Sponsored by: I Choose Life. For more information, (213) 509-5441.
Thursday, Dec. 29, 11 a.m.- 6 p.m.
Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics). Real Black Thursday. Support Black business; shopping and sharing good in Leimert Park.
Location: Leimert Park—all day. Sponsored by: Kwanzaa Ujima Collective. For more information, (323) 299-6124.
Friday, Dec. 30, 6:30 p.m.
Nia (Purpose). KRST Unity Center of Afrakan Spiritual Science in cooperation with the MAAT Institute for Community Change will provide an evening of recommitment and renewal to the aspirations and vision of our ancestors with music, song and good speech.
Location: KRST Unity Center of Afrakan Spiritual Science, 7825 S Western Ave., Los Angeles. For more information, (323) 759-7567.
Saturday, Dec. 31, 6-9 p.m.
The 45th annual Kwanzaa Karamu (feast). A festive evening in Africa with a feast of fine food and cultural expressions of dance, drumming, music and poetry. Other highlights of the evening include the annual Founder’s Kwanzaa Message by Dr. Maulana Karenga, the creator of Kwanzaa, and the community Kwanzaa candle-lighting ceremony.
Location: Friendship Auditorium, 3201 Riverside Drive, Los Angeles. Sponsored by The Organization Us. For tickets and more information, (323) 299-6124
Sunday, Jan. 1
The Day of Meditation. A special day of remembrance, reflection and recommitment to our highest values as persons and a people—a quiet and peaceful time of turning inward.
State Sen. Curren Price congratulates siblings Mary Kimbrough and Jackie Kimbrough Ryan, from left, as well as their brother Alden Kimbrough, who is not pictured, on their successful retail shop during California Small Business Day held recently in Sacramento. The three siblings have owned Leimert Park-based African-American-culture-themed store Zambezi Bazaar for more than 20 years.
The Brotherhood Crusade is a nonprofit institution founded in 1968 to provide resources, services and a voice of advocacy to traditionally underserved communities. Its mission is to help individuals overcome barriers that deter their pursuit of success, and to offer programming that improves quality of life, promotes health, fosters educational and economic opportunities and builds community.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—A parade was held along Crenshaw Boulevard today to mark the start of the seven-day African American festival of Kwanzaa.
The parade began at noon at Crenshaw and Adams boulevards, then headed to Leimert Park, where a festival was held that included musical and spoken word entertainment.
President Barack Obama and his wife released a statement expressing well wishes.
"Michelle and I extend our warmest thoughts and wishes to all those who are celebrating Kwanzaa this holiday season,'' he said.
Sky-high unemployment, disproportional incarceration rates, too much involvement in the criminal justice system and the resulting inability to find gainful employment; a poverty rate of more than 25 percent–these are just some of the economic realities that stare African Americans starkly in the face.
As the Christmas holiday season continues and those who celebrate Kwanzaa prepare their activities, there is probably no better time for Black people to take at look at their collective economic situation. The picture is not pretty.