By MEGAN HUSSEY
An organization called the Black Coalition of Hernando County is holding an online Kwanzaa Celebration December 26 – January 1 at https://fb.me/e/34mhYahIM.
“We will be hosting an online Kwanzaa Celebration centered around explaining the basics of Kwanzaa including the symbols, principles, and common practices for the holiday,” said Allisa Babor, Director of Arts and Culture at the Black Coalition of Hernando County ( www.blackcoalition352.com). “Kwanzaa is a holiday that was created in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga, professor, and chair of African Studies at California State University, to study and celebrate the African-American community and its culture, heritage, and values. The word “Kwanzaa” comes from the Swahili phrase “matunda ya kwanza,” or first fruits. Together, we will learn about the seven principles of Kwanzaa, talk about DIY and activities, and reflect on the history of Kwanzaa.”
Black Coalition of Hernando County president, Atiya Spellman led the coalition in planning a local Kwanzaa festivity–one originally planned as a public event, moved online for health and safety reasons.
“The goal for our event is to educate our community in cultural awareness on the principles of Kwanzaa and allow families who are interested in practicing the tools to navigate each day,” said Spellman. “Participants will learn the lesson of the day, suggested activities, and how they can improve not only themselves but the community around them.”
Babor wishes to share the magic of Kwanzaa with all in the Hernando community.
“Our goal is to bring awareness to the holiday by sharing about its origins and practices. Something that is often misinterpreted is that Kwanzaa is a religious holiday when truly, it is a cultural one that promotes values, unity, and heritage. We wish to teach the community something new that they may even bring into their home or teach someone close to them one day,” said Babor. “Due to COVID, we have decided to make this an online event, so we will be sharing daily about the holiday on the Facebook event page for the celebration! We will share information on each day, explain activities and traditions that are commonly practiced throughout the celebration, and share DIY projects that folks can do at home on their own or with friends and family! We will share ideas and DIY projects for children and adults alike.”
Also shared will be a time of faith, love and community–in a time we need it the most.