Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Kwanzaa Celebration at UMass Campus Center

Tonight The Malcolm X Cultural Center and The University of Massachusetts, Amherst and People of Color United and Amherst Regional High School presented their Community Kwanzaa Celebration. The celebration was scheduled from 6-9 p.m.

Me, Andrew, Katelyn, Kasey, Mike and Eric got there while keynote speaker and UMass Professor John Bracey was giving a speech to the attendees. Katelyn interviewed Bracey, check it out here.

Concluding Bracey's inspirational speech, students from UMass and Amherst High lit candles for each of the seven symbols of the Nguzo Saba (the seven principles of Kwanzaa.) Mike reported on the history and origins of Kwanzaa, if you want to know more, check it out here.

After the light ceremony performers took to the stage. Here is a video of the Cape Verdean Student Alliance dancers.

Two poets from ARHS, Briana Figarella and Kindyl Tolson spoke and a UMass Grad, Denise Daley. A drummer performing in the West African Tradition, Backa Niag performed. Niag got the crowd clapping. A singer from ARHS, not noted in the program performed. After him, the UMass Gospel Choir sang Psalm 23.

Eric talked to the crowd, check out what he reported here.

People found that the symbols and colors come together and create a greater impact, “The music and songs are nice, but it is the symbols and lessons we have learned from our past that makes this such a great holiday, “said Simone Williams, “People need to be reminded that our struggles are not over, even with a black president coming into office.”

Andrew was live twittering the event, check it out here.

Then it was time to bless the feast. Kasey covered the decor and the Karamu (feast) here.

See the event in photos here.

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