Kwanzaa is an African-American holiday founded in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga, as a way to unite the community following the Watts Rebellion. Kwanzaa is derived from the phrase “matunda ya kwanza” which means “first fruits” in Swahili.
Each family celebrates Kwanzaa in its own way, but celebrations often include songs and dances, African drums, storytelling, poetry reading, and a large traditional meal. Each night, a child lights one of the candles on the Kinara (candleholder), then one of the seven principles is discussed.
Join One Detroit, DPTV, and the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History for a celebration of Kwanzaa. Starting on Sunday, December 26 at 7PM, enjoy the festive sights and sounds of the holiday with a weeklong line up of special programs.
Day 1: UNITY / UMOJA
As the 1st candle on the Kinara is lit and in partnership with The Wright Museum, The African Liberation Day Committee presents drumming, dance, and martial arts demonstrations as part of this Day 1 recognition of Kwanzaa, entitled UMOJA which means Unity.
Day 2: KUJICHAJULIA / SELF DETERMINATION
As the 2nd candle on the Kinara is lit and in partnership with The Wright Museum, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement presents a naming ceremony that is focused on the concept of naming ourselves or best known as Kujichajulia which means Self-Determination.
Day 3: UJIMA / COLLECTIVE WORK & RESPONSIBILITY
As the 3rd candle on the Kinara is lit and in partnership with The Wright Museum, The Nsoroma Institute delivers an all virtual presentation as part of this Day 3 recognition of Kwanzaa, entitled UJIMA which means Collective Work & Responsibility.
DAY 4: UJIMMA / COOPERATIVE ECONOMICS
DAY 5: NIA / PURPOSE
As the 5th candle on the Kinara is lit and in partnership with The Wright Museum, United Negro Improvement Association & African Communities League presents presentations and African Drumming as part of this Day 5 recognition of Kwanzaa, entitled NIA which means Purpose.
DAY 6: KUUMBA / CREATIVITY
As the 6th candle on the Kinara is lit and in partnership with The Wright Museum, Nanou Diapo presents dance and a tour of African Drumming, as part of this Day 6 recognition of Kwanzaa, entitled KUUMBA which means Creativity.
DAY 7: IMANI / FAITH
As the 7th & final candle on the Kinara is lit and in partnership with The Wright Museum, Hood Research presents performances and candle lighting ceremony as the final recognition of Kwanzaa, entitled IMANI which means Faith.
ABOUT THE CHARLES H. WRIGHT MUSEUM OF AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY
For over half a century, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History has dedicated itself to exploring and celebrating the rich cultural legacy of African Americans.
Through dozens of permanent and visiting exhibitions, over 300 annual public events and programs, as well as education and research opportunities for adults, children, and visiting scholars, The Wright inspires visitors toward greater understanding, acceptance, and unity by reflecting on the triumphs and tragedies of African-American history.
Home to the Blanche Coggin Underground Railroad Collection, the Harriet Tubman Museum Collection, and the Sheffield Collection—a repository of documents regarding the labor movement in Detroit—among many other notable materials, The Wright houses more than 35,000 artifacts pertaining to the African American experience.
Each year, more than half a million people visit The Wright to engage with its unparalleled collection.