Celebration of Kwanzaa begins

Published 12/26 2013 10:40PM

Updated 12/27 2013 08:17AM

Lighting the first candle of seven, a small group gathered at the Nubian Cultural Outreach Center to observe Kwanzaa.

"Our children need principles and laws,” says Kamala, with the Nubian Cultural Outreach Center. “This celebration is based on laws. It's based on seven principles. It's not just a fly-by-night celebration."

Kwanzaa comes from a Swahili phrase meaning "first fruits of the harvest."

It's a week-long celebration, started in the 1960's to teach African-Americans about their culture.

"Well, it's a tradition in my family that we celebrate Kwanzaa every year, so this is just a part of something that we do every year this time of year," says Sherita Secoundiata.

There are seven principles for each day of Kwanzaa: Unity, Self-determination, Collective Work and Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativity and Faith.

Each principle has symbols to go along with it.

“You know, it's not even about the gift giving portion of it, which you can do as a part of Kwanzaa, but it's about the history, the knowledge, the learning, the collective, the unity," says Secoundiata.

"This is a way for us to reconnect with that which has been lost and stripped of us throughout the whole experience of the ugly experience of slavery," says Cedric Secoundiata.

Each year they hope this group grows, so the education on African culture can continue to spread.

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