Kwanzaa In The City 2015: Celebrating 50 Years

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Habari Gani?

“This years annual Kwanzaa theme is, Embracing the Principles and Practices of Kwanzaa: Creating and Celebrating the Good’.  It is so named in order to reaffirm the centrality of the Nguzo Saba, the Seven Principles, in this the 50th Anniversary of their introduction the lives and liberation movement of our People in 1965″. 

The Seven Principles

The Seven Principles

In the Annual Founder’s Kwanzaa Message, Dr. Maulana Karenga clearly informs us just how relevant the Nguzo Saba (Seven Principles) are to our world today. As Kwanzaa represents what he refers to as a Black Value System of African values that aid us in how we ground ourselves as a community in directing our lives.

As Black people, I interestingly, think about where we were in 1965 when Kwanzaa was introduced to where we are now, 50 years later in climate of #BlackLivesMatter.  I ask the question, what role (if any) does the principles of Nguzo Saba play in our everyday lives? Not just from December 26th through January 1st, but really, how do implement the practices of  Kwanzaa’s values to adopt a lifestyle that’s benefiting our families and overall community.  I often have the “where did WE go wrong” conversation and usually for the most part, all roads lead back to; our moving away from our ancestral teachings for a more popular culture lifestyle.


“The thing that has made the so-called Negro in America fail, more than any other thing, is your, my lack of knowledge concerning history. We know less about history than anything else.”Malcolm X


Many lack the knowledge of Kwanzaa which results in this sort of taboo surrounding it’s teachings and role within the community.  It’s time to demystify this celebration that not only acknowledges and teaches us about our history as people from African decent, Kwanzaa gives us the practical tools to improve our overall quality of life.

Kwanzaa Recipe for Success

Kwanzaa Recipe for Success

I didn’t grow up in a household that celebrated Kwanzaa yet, I feel as if I received its values as my Brooklyn consisted of Black educators who were intentional and I learned Black History in my school,  I had neighbors and people in my life that were invested in the community as they constantly reminded me and my peers of our rich heritage and how/why we needed to conduct ourselves accordingly.  As an adult and a parent, I recognize that my children don’t have the same Brooklyn therefor;  I’ve been intentional about increasingly incorporating the Nguzo Saba onto first our holiday celebrations, then Black History month and ultimately our every day lives via the programs I involve my children in, the way we discuss what’s happening in the world as a family how we practice our faith and participate in service.

Test Your Kwanzaa Knowledge

Test Your Kwanzaa Knowledge

Now more than ever is a time when we cannot afford to forget our past and one way we can do that is by investing in our future.  We need to affirm and bring up the next generation of leaders through our children/youth, economics, and community development.  Particularly in Brooklyn,  New York where our neighborhoods are being gentrified at alarming rates and the homeless population is at record-breaking numbers, It’s no surprise that Kwanzaa’s founder, Dr. Karenga will be right here in our beloved borough to commemorate this milestone.

Together, we can use this year as an opportunity embrace and/or enhance the role that the Nguzo Saba plays in our lives.  As always, here’s a running list of some of the annual celebrations of Kwanzaa In the City 2015.     Spread Love, It’s the BrooKlyn Kisha Way!


**Days and times of events vary so be sure click on links for specifics**

African Burial Ground – Celebrating Kwanzaa

49th Anniversary of Kwanzaa Celebration – Featuring Dr. Maulana Karenga

Apollo Theater – Kwanzaa Celebration: Regeneration Night

Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy – Kwanzaa 7.0 Connecting Tradition and Community

American Museum of Natural History – Kwanzaa 2015: Energize, Recognize

Brooklyn Children’s Museum – Kwanzaa Collections Case

Asase Yaa Cultural Arts Foundation – Kwanzaa Fest BK 2015

Sankofa Community Empowerment, NYC – Kwanzaa 2015 Celebrating Umoja

Cumbe Center for African Diaspora Dance – Kwanzaa Family Day Celebration



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