Representatives of the African American Cultural Society will observe the seven principles of Kwanzaa at presentations around Port Arthur. The 2015 celebration will be Dec. 26-Jan. 1. The theme is “Embracing Kwanzaa’s Principles and Practice: Creating and Celebrating the Good.”
Dr. Maluna Karenga created Kwanzaa in 1965 to reaffirm the African heritage and culture, the Society reports. The seven principles of Kwanzaa, or Nguzo Saba are what Karenga called “the best of African thought and practice in constant exchange with the world.” Each of the seven days of Kwanzaa is dedicated to one of the following principles with events scheduled in Port Arthur:
- Dec. 26, 2015: Umoja (Unity): To strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race. Fabiola Small with 11 a.m. entertainment at Seventh Street Baptist Church, 1749 Rev. Dr Ransom Howard St.
- Dec. 27: Kujichagulia (Self-Determination): To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves. 11 a.m. entertainment at Rock Island Baptist Church, 548 W. 11th St.
- Dec. 28: Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility): To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers’ and sisters’ problems our problems and to solve them together. Youth dancers and Robinne Alexander, motivational speaker and researcher, to speak from 6 to 7:15 p.m. at Port Arthur Public Library, 4615 Ninth Ave.
- Dec. 29: Ujamaa (cooperative economics):To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together. Johnny Hulin, Pastor Ronald Preston and praise dancers, 1 to 3 p.m., Lake View Palms, 5200 Gulfway Drive
- Dec. 30: Nia (Purpose): To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness. Entertainment at 11 a.m., Rock Island Baptist Church, 548 W. 11th St.
- Dec. 31: Kuumba (Creativity): To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it. Also observing:
- Imani (Faith): To believe with all our hearts in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle. Gail Pellum to speak at 11 a.m. at Rock Island Baptist Church, 548 W. 11th St., 11 a.m.
- Jan. 1: Family Day, Happy New Year.
For more information on Kwanzaa observations in Port Arthur, contact Carolyn Thibodeaux, Children’s & Young Adult Librarian, at Port Arthur Public Library: (409) 985-8838 ext. 2237