It’s the second day of Kwanzaa, and celebrations are happening in Huntsville throughout the week.
Thursday night’s event at the Richard Showers Recreation Center was to celebrate the seven principles of Kwanzaa. Organizers said not only African Americans but all people should strive to achieve those values.
Kujichagulia in English translates to self-determination. It’s the principle represented on the second day of Kwanzaa.
“Kwanzaa emphasizes honoring your people, honoring your culture and history and pouring into young people knowledge that will help to strengthen their self-esteem,” explained Charles Creech, co-organizer of the Community Kwanzaa Celebration.
Unity; Self-Determination; Collective Work and Responsibility; Cooperative Economics; Purpose; Creativity and Faith. Each day a candle is lit in the kinara to symbolize those principles.
“We bring people to celebrate this because it’s important for us to take responsibility for our lives, it’s important for us to take responsibility for our businesses, it’s important for us to take responsibility for our families,” said Kenneth Anderson, Multicultural Affairs Officer for the City of Huntsville.
Kwanzaa was not created to substitute Christmas. “Kwanzaa is not a religious holiday, it’s inspirational for sure, but it does not replace Christmas,” Creech added.
Though the holiday was established to uplift African Americans, Kwanzaa’s principles can be used by people of all races.
“All cultures should be a part of this experience because what this does is it shines a light on a small way on which we actually have common ground with other people. And I think that the more people see common ground with between one another, the more they’ll see opportunities that exist within their community to work together for a common goal,” Anderson continued.
Kwanzaa is observed through January 1. If you missed Thursday’s celebration, there will be another one Friday, at the Richard Showers Recreation Center, from 2 pm to 7 pm.