2022 Kwanzaa celebrations begin in Jackson

JACKSON, Tenn. — A local organization kicked off the first day of Kwanzaa: Umoja, or Unity.

Kwanzaa 2

Kwanzaa

The Society for African American Cultural Awareness held their 2022 Virtual Kwanzaa Celebration on Monday, kicking off seven days of celebration.

Wendy Trice-Martin, the President of the Society for African American Cultural Awareness, spoke about Kwanzaa, its principles and more.

“Kwanzaa was started in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga, a sociologist, who wanted to put emphasis on our cultural roots, connecting our people to Africa and our African roots,” Trice-Martin said. “It has seven principles, seven days.”

She says the seven principles of unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, purpose, creativity and faith can be used throughout our lives.

She adds that it is a cultural celebration that can be celebrated by everyone. The symbols of the celebration include:

  • The Mat, or Mkeka, for the people
  • The Candle Holder, or Kinara, that holds the seven candles of Kwanzaa
  • The Unity Cup, or Kikombe cha Umoja, that brings the family together through water or wine
  • The Corn Muhindi, for the children

The Society for African American Cultural Awareness will continue their virtual celebration of Kwanzaa through January 1.

Monday was Umoja, Tuesday will be Kujichagulia, Wednesday will be Ujima, Thursday will be Ujamaa, Friday will be Nia, Saturday will be Kuumba, and Sunday will be Imani.

Kwanzaa

You can watch each day’s celebration, including the one for Umoja, on their Facebook page. Umoja will also be available below:

The founder of Kwanzaa, Karenga, shared his annual message that says in part:

“This year’s Kwanzaa theme self-consciously focuses on the foundational right and practice of freedom. I speak here of freedom in its inclusive sense, not only freedom from domination deprivation and degradation so rampant and ruinous in the world, but also of freedom to be ourselves.”

You can read the full message about 2022’s Kwanzaa here, and can learn more about it here.

Kwanzaa came to our community in 1988, when the Jackson Chapter of the Society of African Culture and Arts first started celebrating.

A candle will be lit each day until the celebration is over.

You can learn more about Kwanzaa here.

Find more local news here.

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