Dec. 27, 2002 – A community celebration of Kwanzaa will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Enid M. Baa Library.
The week of African-American family- and community-oriented observances began on Thursday and runs through next Wednesday.
"The public is invited to help celebrate Kwanzaa with the ceremonial pouring of a libation and lighting of the kinara [seven candles] while listening to the Nguzu Saba – the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa," a release states. The key words of Kwanzaa are in the African language of Swahili.
Following the ceremony, children will be invited to participate in craft activities, while adults will have an opportunity to learn more about the African-oriented holiday observance. The grown-ups also can get information about inexpensive Kwanzaa gift ideas and holiday recipes.
The program is the library's Karamu — a time for celebrating with music and dance – to honor the kuumba, the creativity present in each person. And "no celebration is complete without food," the release states, so all are invited to join the library staff for light refreshments at the end of the program.
Kwanzaa, first celebrated in the United States in December of 1966, was the idea of Maulana (Ron) Karenga, a professor at California State University at Long Beach, California. Today, it is observed in African communities throughout the world.
The word kwanzaa is translated as "first fruits" of the harvest. The seven principles, each the focus of one day within the week of Kwanzaa, are, in order of observance:
Umoja (unity) – to strive for and maintain unity in family, community, nation and race.
Kujichagulia (self-determination) – to define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves.
Ujima (collective work and responsibility) – to build and maintain our community together and make our brother's and sister's problems our problems, and to solve them together.
Ujamaa (cooperative economics) – to build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together.
Nia (purpose) – to make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
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.
Imani (faith) – to believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.
For more background on the observance, see Official Kwanzaa Web Site, or any number of other Internets sites that can be accessed by typing "Kwanzaa" into a search engine.
Saturday's Baa Library program is being presented by the Planning and Natural Resources Department's Division of Libraries, Archives and Museums. The release acknowledges the Prosser ICC Foundation for its "generous gifts in support of this community activity." Foundation funding will be used in part to purchase books, audiotapes and videotapes "to enhance the libraries' collection on Kwanzaa and African and Caribbean culture," it states.

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