Home Local News Kwanza Nashville opens December 26 at Plaza Mariachi

Kwanza Nashville opens December 26 at Plaza Mariachi

by Cass Teague

Kwanzaa is a time for families and communities to come together to remember the past and to celebrate African American culture. It is celebrated annually from December 26 through January 1. The Theme for 2023 is “Kwanzaa, Freedom, Justice and Peace: Principles and Practices For A New World.”

Kwanzaa Nashville, in partnership with Plaza Mariachi Music City, is bringing a special Kwanzaa celebration to the Greater Nashville Community. This will be a FREE family friendly event where all are welcome and children and adults can learn about the rich traditions of the Kwanzaa holiday through hands-on activities, cultural music, live performances, African American cuisines, dancing, and interactive community engagement.

The Umoja Marketplace opens at 6 pm, and the 7 pm program features Sankofa African Drum & Dance Company, Shackled Feet Dance, and other special guest performers.

Kwanzaa is an African American and Pan-African holiday that celebrates history, values, family, community and culture. The ideas and concepts of Kwanzaa are expressed in the Swahili language, one of the most widely spoken languages in Africa. The seven principles which form its core were drawn from communitarian values found throughout the African continent.

In creating the holiday website, Dr. Maulana Karenga stated its goals and content as follows: As an African American and Pan-African holiday celebrated by millions throughout the world African community, Kwanzaa brings a cultural message which speaks to the best of what it means to be African and human in the fullest sense. Given the profound significance Kwanzaa has for African Americans and indeed, the world African community, it is imperative that an authoritative source and site be made available to give an accurate and expansive account of its origins, concepts, values, symbols and practice.

Moreover, given the continued rapid growth of Kwanzaa and the parallel expanded discussion of it and related issues, an authoritative source which aids in both framing and informing the discussion is likewise of the greatest importance. Therefore, the central interest of this website is to provide information which reveals and reaffirms the integrity, beauty and expansive meaning of the holiday and thus aids in our approaching it with the depth of thought, dignity, and sense of specialness it deserves.

The holiday, then will of necessity, be engaged as an ancient and living cultural tradition which reflects the best of African thought and practice in its reaffirmation of the dignity of the human person in community and culture, the well-being of family and community, the integrity of the environment and our kinship with it, and the rich resource and meaning of a people’s culture. It is within this understanding, then, that the Organization Us, the founding organization of Kwanzaa and the authoritative keeper of the tradition, has established and maintains this website: www.OfficialKwanzaaWebsite.org.

During the holiday, families and communities organize activities around the Nguzo Saba, The Seven Principles, as follows: Umoja (Unity), December 26; Kujichagulia (Self-Determination), December 27; Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), December 28; Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), December 29; Nia (Purpose), December 30; Kuumba (Creativity), December 31; and lmani (Faith), January 1. Participants also celebrate with feasts (karamu), music, dance, poetry, narratives and end the holiday with a day dedicated to reflection and recommitment to The Seven Principles and other central cultural values to begin a new calendar year.

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