Courtesy of the Camden City School District
Take time each day of the month of November and December to do an activity on that day in honor of the energy of the person or the event that occurred.
For example, on November 22, 1930 - Elijah Muhammad establishes the Nation of Islam in hopes of lifting the consciouness, spirit, and economic acheivement of Black People.
What will you do on November 22nd this year to lift up Black People?
To continue this practice throughout 2013, Click Here.
Why Everyone Should Celebrate Juneteenth
1: You are celebrating a holiday just as important as the Fourth of July and Memorial Day.
2: Because without the end of slavery, this great country now known as the United States of America would not have been possible.
3: Because Juneteenth gives African Americans and everyone living in America a sense of togetherness.
4: Because Slavery is a terrible thing. Many people of all skin colors fought tirelessly to end slavery, and their efforts should not go unnoticed.
5: Because the end of slavery was the beginning of togetherness.
6: Because Slavery was outlawed by the 13th Amendment, which was passed in 1865.
7: Because everyone should embrace the past as well as the future with dignity, respect and appreciation.
These are just a few reasons why you should celebrate this holiday.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL; 601-776-6728 & 601-776-6474 & 601-776-7600
Checks, money orders & cash is being accepted at Great Southern National Bank, please make yours deposits to Clarke County Juneteenth Planning Group. Thank You.
PLANS ARE ALREADY IN THE WORKING FOR THIS GREAT CELEBRATION, PLEASE JOIN US.
The History of Kwanzaa
The Continental African Roots
Kwanzaa is an African American and Pan-African holiday which celebrates family, community and culture. Celebrated from 26 December thru 1 January, its origins are in the first harvest celebrations of Africa from which it takes its name. The name Kwanzaa is derived from the phrase "matunda ya kwanza" which means "first fruits" in Swahili, a Pan-African language which is the most widely spoken African language.
The first-fruits celebrations are recorded in African history as far back as ancient Egypt and Nubia and appear in ancient and modern times in other classical African civilizations such as Ashantiland and Yorubaland. These celebrations are also found in ancient and modern times among societies as large as empires (the Zulu or kingdoms (Swaziland) or smaller societies and groups like the Matabele, Thonga and Lovedu, all of southeastern Africa. Kwanzaa builds on the five fundamental activities of Continental African "first fruit" celebrations: ingathering; reverence; commemoration; recommitment; and celebration. Kwanzaa, then, is:
- a time of ingathering of the people to reaffirm the bonds between them;
- a time of special reverence for the creator and creation in thanks and respect for the blessings, bountifulness and beauty of creation;
- a time for commemoration of the past in pursuit of its lessons and in honor of its models of human excellence, our ancestors;
- a time of recommitment to our highest cultural ideals in our ongoing effort to always bring forth the best of African cultural thought and practice; and
- a time for celebration of the Good, the good of life and of existence itself, the good of family, community and culture, the good of the awesome and the ordinary, in a word the good of the divine, natural and social.
The African American Branch
Rooted in this ancient history and culture, Kwanzaa develops as a flourishing branch of the African American life and struggle as a recreated and expanded ancient tradition. Thus, it bears special characteristics only an African American holiday but also a Pan-African one, For it draws from the cultures of various African peoples, and is celebrated by millions of Africans throughout the world African community. Moreover, these various African peoples celebrate Kwanzaa because it speaks not only to African Americans in a special way, but also to Africans as a whole, in its stress on history, values, family, community and culture.
Kwanzaa was established in 1966 in the midst of the Black Freedom Movement and thus reflects its concern for cultural groundedness in thought and practice, and the unity and self-determination associated with this. It was conceived and established to serve several functions.
Reaffirming and Restoring Culture
First, Kwanzaa was created to reaffirm and restore our rootedness in African culture. It is, therefore, an expression of recovery and reconstruction of African culture which was being conducted in the general context of the Black Liberation Movement of the '60's and in the specific context of The Organization Us, the founding organization of Kwanzaa and the authoritative keeper of its tradition. Secondly, Kwanzaa was created to serve as a regular communal celebration to reaffirm and reinforce the bonds between us as a people. It was designed to be an ingathering to strengthen community and reaffirm common identity, purpose and direction as a people and a world community.
Thirdly, Kwanzaa was created to introduce and reinforce the Nguzo Saba (the Seven Principles.) These seven communitarian African values are: Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (Self-Determination), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics),Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity), and Imani (Faith). This stress on the Nguzo Saba was at the same time an emphasis on the importance of African communitarian values in general, which stress family, community and culture and speak to the best of what it means to be African and human in the fullest sense. And Kwanzaa was conceived as a fundamental and important way to introduce and reinforce these values and cultivate appreciation for them.
Kwanzaa was created in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga, professor of Africana Studies at California State University, Long Beach, author and scholar-activist who stresses the indispensable need to preserve, continually revitalize and promote African American culture.
Finally, it is important to note Kwanzaa is a cultural holiday, not a religious one, thus available to and practiced by Africans of all religious faiths who come together based on the rich, ancient and varied common ground of their Africanness.
*Summarized from -- Maulana Karenga, Kwanzaa: A Celebration of Family, Community and Culture, 2008, Los Angeles: University of Sankore Press (www.sankorepress.com).
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Reproduction in full or part is not prohibited.
YOUTH DRAWING & ESSAY CONTEST
The 1st Kings and Queens Juneteenth celebrates
“ Elegance and Confidence in our Youth.”
The Ujima Cultural Heritage of Learning Center are seeking drawings and essays that share and reflect the richness surrounding Juneteenth as a historical event and a family friendly community festival.
Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration of the end of African slavery in the United States. Juneteenth celebrations were born in Galveston, Texas in 1865 when Union Troops arrived to enforce the covenants of the Emancipation Proclamation that declared all slaves were to be freed in revolting states. Upon notice of their freedom-although 2-1/2 years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued-the former slaves collected themselves and held community festivals and discussions.
Today, Juneteenth is said to be one of the largest celebrations in Galveston, Texas.
How to Enter:
• Essay Contest: High School through Senior Citizen are invited to submit a 300 word essay on (a) What Juneteenth means to you and your family (b) Why is Juneteenth an important historical event?
• Drawing Contest: Kindergartner—Junior high are invited to submit an 12”by 14” drawing using the theme (a) What Juneteenth means to you and your family? Or (b) Why is Juneteenth an important historical event?
• Prizes: Prizes will be awarded for 1st , 2nd , 3rd, places for both contests. All winners will be honored at the Annual Juneteenth Celebration on June 29, 2013.
• Deadline: Drawings and Essays need to be submitted to Ujima Cultural Center’s Office by MAY 17, 2013.
Kwanzaa is a week-long celebration honoring African Canadian and African-American heritage and culture, observed from December 26 to January 1 each year. and culminates in a feast and gift-giving. It was created by Maulana Karenga and was first celebrated in 1966–67.
Kwanzaa celebrates what its founder called the seven principles of Kwanzaa, or Nguzo Saba (originally Nguzu Saba—the seven principles of African Heritage), which Karenga said "is a communitarian African philosophy," consisting of what Karenga called "the best of African thought and practice in constant exchange with the world." These seven principles comprise *Kawaida, a Swahili term for tradition and reason. Each of the seven days of Kwanzaa is dedicated to one of the following principles, as follows:
- Umoja (Unity): To strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.
- Kujichagulia (Self-Determination): To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves stand up.
- Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility): To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers' and sisters' 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 hearts in God, our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.
Kwanzaa symbols include a decorative mat on which other symbols are placed, corn and other crops, a candle holder with seven candles, called a kinara, a communal cup for pouring libations, gifts, a poster of the seven principles, and a black, red, and green flag. The symbols were designed to convey the seven principles.
How to Celebrate Kwanzaa
1.Decorate your home or the main room with the symbols of Kwanzaa. Put a green tablecloth over a centrally located table, and on top of that, place the Mkeka which is a straw or woven matthat symbolizes the historical foundation of African ancestry.
2.Place the following on the Mkeka:
- Mazao - crops represent the community's productivity; place fruit in a bowl;
- Kinara - the candle-holder
- Mishumaa Saba - the seven candles which represent the seven core principles of Kwanzaa; three candles on the left are red (to represent struggle), three on the right are green (hope) and one in the center is black (people)
- Muhindi - lay out one ear of corn for each child; if there are no children, place two ears to represent the children of the community
- Zawadi - gifts for the children
- Kikombe cha Umoja - a cup to represent family and community unity.
3.Decorate around the room with Kwanzaa flags and posters emphasizing the seven principles. You can purchase or make these, and it's especially fun to make them with the kids.
4.Starting on December 26, greet everyone by saying "Habari Gani" which is a standard Swahili greeting meaning "what is the news?". If someone greets you, respond with the principle (Nguzo Saba) for that day:
- December 26 - "Umoja" - Unity
- December 27 - "Kujichagulia" - Self-determination
- December 28 - "Ujima" - Collective work and responsibility
- December 29 - "Ujamaa" - Cooperative economics
- December 30 - "Nia" - Purpose
- December 31 - "Kuumba" - Creativity
- January 1 - "Imani" - Faith.
5.Light the Kinara daily. Since each candlerepresents a specific principle, they are lit one day at a time, in a certain order. The black candle is always lit first. Some people light the remaining candles from left to right (red to green) while other people alternate as follows:
- black candle
- far left red candle
- far right green candle
- second red candle
- second green candle
- last red candle
- last green candle
6.Have the Kwanzaa Karamu (feast) on the sixth day (New Year's Eve). The Kwanzaa feast is a very special event that brings everyone closer to their African roots. It is traditionally held on December 31st and is a communal and cooperative effort. Decorate the place where the feast will be held in a red, green, and black scheme. A large Kwanzaa setting should dominate the room where the feast will be held. A large Mkeka should be placed in the center of the floor where the food is placed creatively and made accessible to all to serve themselves. Before and during the feast, an informative and entertaining program should be presented.
Traditionally, the program should involve welcoming, remembering, reassessment, recommitment and rejoicing, concluded by a farewell statement and a call for greater unity.7
7.Give out the gifts of Kuumba. Kuumba, meaning creativity, is highly encouraged and brings a sense of self-satisfaction. The gifts are usually exchanged between the parents and children and are given out traditionally on January 1st, the last day of Kwanzaa. Since the giving of gifts has very much to do with Kuumba, the gifts should be of an educational or artistic nature.
Credit Goes to Wikipedia and Ask.com for information provided. However, there are many books and resources for learning more about Kwanzaa.
120 Main Street
Quitman, MS 39355
Phone: 601-776-7600 & 601-527-2641
"A Heritage of Learning Development Center"
Founded by Rev. Advial McKenzie
Directed by Mother Annis Collins