Kwanzaa celebrations engage community via virtual events

Kwanzaa celebrations engage community via virtual events
December 29
14:47 2021

Celebration continues today through Saturday

For over a decade Triad Cultural Arts (TCA) has brought people together from around the city for the week-long celebration of Kwanzaa. This year, due to the pandemic, the event was held virtually. 

Celebrated each year from Dec. 26 – Jan. 1, Kwanzaa, which means “first fruits of harvest” in the African language Kiswahili, is an African American celebration that focuses on the traditional African values of family, community, responsibility, commerce, and self-improvement. Each day of Kwanzaa is represented by a principle or theme that serves as the focus for the celebration that day. Dr. Maulana Karenga introduced Kwanzaa in 1966.

Local festivities began on Sunday, Dec. 26, where the focus was Umoja, which means unity. The keynote speaker was delivered by  Forsyth County Commissioner Fleming El-Amin. On Monday, Dec. 27, the focus was Kujichagulia, which means “self-determination,” and the keynote speaker was The Honorable Denise Hartsfield. 

Day three of the celebration centered around the theme Ujima or collective work. The festivities were hosted by the Big 4 Alumni Association, who put on a talent show featuring Sam Hamlin, Rev. Sam Hickerson, Ralph Meadows, Mozell Duncan, Joe Anderson, and the Legendary Napper Singers. 

Today, Thursday, Dec. 30, the public is invited to Brown and Douglas Recreation Center to celebrate Nia or purpose. During the event, Otesha Dance Assemble will perform live and the keynote address will be delivered by Rev. Dr. John Mendez. 

Day six, Friday, Dec. 31, the focus will be Kuumba or Creativity. The public will have the opportunity to learn how to make a Kwanzaa drum, collard green salad, and discover some diverse book recommendations. This celebration is sponsored by the Forsyth County Public Library.

Saturday, Jan. 1, the final day of Kwanzaa is centered on the theme Imani or Faith. The celebration will be marked by the Annual Celebration of Emancipation hosted by the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Emancipation Association. The guest speaker is Reverend Dr. Dwight Hash Sr., Pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church. Attorney Reba Warren will perform the annual reading of The Emancipation Proclamation and scholarship awards and recognitions will be conducted by Daniel Piggott.

Events hosted by Triad Cultural Arts will stream live every day at 6 p.m. on Zoom on the “Triad Cultural Arts” Facebook page. For more information and a complete list of events and sponsors visit 

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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