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Children's Kwanzaa craft project available for curbside pickup in Pasadena

La Pintoresca Branch is located at 1355 N. Raymond Ave.

City News Service | 12/28/2020, 9:47 a.m.
A children's Kwanzaa craft project will be available for curbside pickup...

A children's craft project will be available for curbside pickup at the Pasadena Public Library's La Pintoresca Branch beginning today in connection with its virtual Kwanzaa celebration.

The curbside distribution will be conducted from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the library at 1355 N. Raymond Ave.

The celebration will be streamed from 11 a.m.-noon Wednesday on the library's Facebook page, www.facebook.com/pasadenalapintoresca. It will include music and stories related to the seven-day African American festival.

Additional information is available by calling 626-744-7268.

Other online Kwanzaa content produced by Los Angeles County organizations includes:

  • an event presenting the principles and practices of Kwanzaa, featuring Baba the Storyteller, one of the few recognized U.S.-born practitioners of the ancient West African storytelling craft known as Jaliyaa, and the Aquarium Pacific Pals puppet Axl the Axolotl. The nearly 25-minute family event produced by the Aquarium of the Pacific is viewable on demand at www.aquariumofpacific.org/events/info/virtual_kwanzaa_event/.
  • The Robey Theatre Company's virtual Kwanzaa celebration features musical and comedy performances. It can be seen on the award-winning, African American theatre arts organization's YouTube page, www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Ah_J1uteZ0.

Kwanzaa began Saturday. This year's theme, "Kwanzaa and the Well-Being of the World: Living and Uplifting the Seven Principles,'' seeks "to call rightful attentiveness to the immediate and urgent need to be actively

concerned and caring about the well-being of the world,'' Kwanzaa creator Maulana Karenga wrote in his annual founder's message.

Kwanzaa was created in 1966 by Karenga, now chair of Africana Studies at Cal State Long Beach, in what he called "an audacious act of self- determination.''

Karenga described Kwanzaa in the 2020 founder's message as "a special season and celebration of our sacred and expansive selves as African people'' and "a unique pan-African time of remembrance, reflection, reaffirmation, and recommitment.''

"It is a special and unique time to remember and honor our ancestors; to reflect on what it means to be African and human in the most expansive and meaningful sense; and to reaffirm the sacred beauty and goodness of ourselves and the rightfulness of our relentless struggle to be ourselves and free ourselves and contribute to an ever-expanding realm of freedom, justice and caring in the world,'' Karenga wrote.

Kwanzaa's focus is the "Nguzo Saba,'' the Seven Principles -- Unity, Self-determination, Collective work and responsibility, Cooperative economics, Purpose, Creativity and Faith.

The seven symbols of Kwanzaa are the Kinara (candle holder), Mishumaa Saba (seven candles), Mkeka (mat), Mazao (crops), Muhindi (ears of corn), Kikombe Cha Umoja (a unity cup) and Zawadi (gifts).

During the week, a candelabrum called a Kinara is lit, and ears of corn representing each child in the family are placed on a traditional straw mat.

African foods such as millet, spiced pepper balls and rice are often served. Some people fast during the holiday, and a feast is often held on its final night.

A flag with three bars -- red for the struggle for freedom, black for unity and green for the future -- is sometimes displayed during the holiday.

Kwanzaa is based on the theory of Kawaida, which espouses that social revolutionary change for Black America can be achieved by exposing Blacks to their cultural heritage.

"Angelenos celebrating Kwanzaa will light the candles and they'll gather online instead of in person to exchange gifts, to feast and to reflect on the principles at the heart of this holiday -- self-determination, shared responsibility, economic cooperation, creativity, unity, purpose and faith,'' Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said in his Kwanzaa message, posted on his official Twitter account.

"I wanted to wish all Angelenos who are celebrating this holiday a meaningful Kwanzaa. As the Kinara fills your home with light, know that there are better and brighter days in the years ahead.''