Wed04232014

Greater Metro

Happy Kwanzaa!

kwanzaa1 600
26kwanazaaphoto

Kwanzaa, which means "first fruits of the harvest," is celebrated from Dec. 26th to Jan., 1st annually, with the purpose of honoring, acknowledging and saluting African-American heritage.

Created by Dr. Ron Karenga, the holiday was first observed from Dec. 26, 1966 to Jan. 1, 1967. An emphasis is put on the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa (Nguzo Saba) – Umoja (oo-MOE-jah), Kujichagulia (koo-jee-cha-goo-LEE-ah), Ujima (oo-JEE-mah), Ujamaa (oo-JAH-mah), Nia (nee-AH), Kuumba (koo-OOM-bah) and Imani (ee-MAH-nee).

As Kwanzaa has aged, the celebration has grown, with a number of ceremonies and events now offered throughout Greater Memphis. Two groups – Memphis Kwanzaa International and Mid-South Kwanzaa Incorporated – provide seven days of events.

 

 

Here is this year's Kwanzaa guide:

Mid-South Kwanzaa Inc.
President: Ayanna Ruby Payne
Theme: "Red, Black, and Green, Black on Black Love"

Day 1: Umoja (Unity)
Thurs., Dec. 26
Honoree: Patricia Lee

2 p.m. – Board of Education Auditorium. Sponsored by SCS and the Orange Mound Progressive Women, Firm Believers in Christ Worship Center - Dr. Eric & Cynthia Boyland, DeNitra Payne of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
7 p.m. – Unity Christian Church, 3345 McCorkle Rd. Sponsored by the Rev. Eric Donaldson

Day 2: Kujichagulia (Self-Determination)
Fri., Dec. 27
Honoree: Elmore Nickelberry

10:30 a.m. – Lewis Center for Senior Citizens, 1188 N. Parkway. Sponsored by Adimu & Pearl Ali.
6 p.m. – Brown Missionary Baptist Church, 980 Stateline Road E. Sponsored by Dr. Bobbie Shaw-Hunter.

Day 3: Ujima (Collective Work & Responsibility)
Sat., Dec. 28
Honoree: Randy Wade

6 p.m. – Exum Towers, 3155 Sharpe Ave. Sponsored by Reuben & Lula Barnes.

Day 4: Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)
Sun., Dec. 29
Honoree: Omo Esudele

4 p.m. – Slavehaven, 826 N. 2nd St. Sponsored by Heritage Tours.
7 p.m. – Alpha Church, 1084 E. McLemore, Sponsored by LeQuita & Willie Eva Sims.

Day 5: Nia (Purpose)
Mon., Dec. 30
Honoree: Owen Tuggle

10:30 a.m. – Orange Mound Senior Service Center, 2590 Park Ave. Sponsored by Carolyn Crawford & Frances Barnes.
7 p.m. – Lester Community Center, 317 Tillman St. Sponsored by Osupa Williams, Frances Barnes & Tillman- Binghampton CDC.

Day 6: Kuumba (Creativity)
Tue., Dec., 31
Honoree: Levi and Debra Frazier

4 p.m. – Kwanzaa Pageant, Southwest College, Union Campus, 737 Union Ave. Sponsored by RBG Productions.
7 p.m. – Java Complex, 1423 Elvis Presley Blvd. Sponsored by Johari Brittenum.

Day 7: Imani (Faith)
Wed., Jan. 1
Honoree: John Gilmore

4 p.m. – University of Memphis Panhellenic Bldg. Sponsored by the African & African American Studies Department & Commissioner Henri Brooks.

Family of the Year: Morris & Pam Hill

Memphis Kwanzaa International
President: Dr. Kaia Naantaanbuu
Theme: "Healthy Children: Healthy World"

Day 1: Umoja (Unity)
Thurs., Dec. 26

9 a.m. - Libation to the Ancestors at the Slave Auction Block at the corner of A. W. Willis (Auction St.) and Main St.
10:30 a.m. – Free continental breakfast at The African Place, 581 N. Third St., for community reflections on "Walking in the Footsteps of the Ancestors."
4 p.m. – Doors open for the Kwanzaa Children's Celebration, Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library, 3030 Poplar Ave. Program starts at 5 p.m. Keynote speaker: Amina Naantaanbuu, a sophomore at University of Tennessee-Knoxville. Emcee: Omari Baruti, senior at Morehouse College.

Day 2: Kujichagulia (Self-Determination)
Fri., Dec. 27

5:30 p.m. – Memphis Kwanzaa Center, 1549 Elvis Presley Blvd. Keynote speaker: Mary E. Mudiku, artist and prison therapist; Topic: "Raising Positive Children in a Negative World." Start: 6 p.m.

Day 3: Ujima (Collective Work & Responsibility)
Sat., Dec. 28

6 p.m. – Fundraiser and banquet to raise donations for our "Healthy Children: Healthy World" programs. Key presenter(s): Minister Suhkara Yahweh, along with other community leaders. Live jazz with Smooth Jazz Man Michael Townsend, along with singing, plenty of food, spoken word, dancing and fun. Donations $40/ticket. Dinner: 7 p.m. Ticket info: 901-239-1555; 901-210-1218.

Day 4: Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)
Sun., Dec. 29

5 p.m. – Memphis Kwanzaa Center, 1549 Elvis Presley Blvd. Keynote speaker: Dr. J.A. Stovall, Chair of the Division of Social Science, Rust College, Holly Springs, Miss. Topic: "Diamonds at Your Feet: Breaking the Shackles of Economic Slavery." Start: 6 p.m.

Day 5: Nia (Purpose)
Mon., Dec. 30

5:30 p.m. – "After Freedom Has Come, Restoration Must follow." Keynote speaker: Dr. Sharif Ashanti Absus-Salaam M.D. (Orthopedic Surgeon, Methodist Hospital). Location: The African Place, 581 N. Third St. Start: 6 p.m.

Day 6: Kuumba (Creativity)
Tue., Dec., 31

The West Tennessee State Penitentiary in Henning, Tenn., 480 Green Chapel Rd. Keynote speaker: Gang interventionist, Dr. Jeffrey R. Futrell of Young Man University. To travel with us, call 901-239-1555.
9 p.m.-midnight – New Year's Eve celebration, Kwanzaa Center, 1549 Elvis Presley Blvd. Free refreshments, dancing, music. A night of family fun co- hosted by the Senegalese, Ghanaian and other African communities.

Day 7: Imani (Faith)
Wed., Jan. 1

6 p.m. – Topic: "How Do We Restore Faith in the Midst of Guns and Gods and Gangs in a World Gone Mad." Dr. Yao F. Modey, Rust College associate professor of history; author of "The Angry Gods Of Africa." Feast: authentic, pork-free African and African-American dishes after the program. To donate food or to participate in any of the events, call 901-210-1218, 901-239-1555 or 901-264-2419