How to Celebrate Kwanzaa in Atlanta


Kwanzaa is a very important holiday in the African-American community. Celebrated from December 26 though January 1, it was first created in 1967 to give African-Americans an optional holiday in which they could celebrate their unique cultural roots and focus on seven important principles.Those principles are Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (Self-Determination), Ujima (Responsibility), Ujamaa (Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity) and Imani (Faith). Kwanzaa lasts for 7 days, and each of these days features an individual principle. Read on if you want to become involved in some of the events related to Kwanzaa in Atlanta.

Step 1

Decorate your home with special holiday decorations, such as a kinara, which is the candelabra used for the daily lighting ceremony and Kwanzaa candles. These can all be found easily at discount stores and Afrocentric stores in the Atlanta area, or online (see Resources below). Celebrating Kwanzaa in your home will help to better illuminate the principles of the holiday to your children.

Step 2

Call your local library to find out the days and times of their Kwanzaa activities. For example, both the Buckhead Branch --(404) 814-3500--and Fulton County Branch--(404) 730-1700--offer storytelling related to the holiday for children ages of 6 to 12. They also teach kids how to make crafts that help show the cultural importance of Kwanzaa.

Step 3

Help your child better appreciate the Kwanzaa principle of creativity, or kuumba, by taking him to related activities at the Douglas Cultural Arts Center, where he can participate in special hands-on workshops (see Resources below).

Step 4

Celebrate Kwanzaa at the Apex Museum on Auburn Avenue, which has a Kwanzaa festival with special activities and events. Some of the activities include music, art, dance performances, the seven principles affirmation, the lighting of the Kwanzaa candle, the ancestral libation pouring, poetry sessions, a marketplace and more (see Resources below).

Step 5

Attend the activities at the Shrine of the Black Madonna in downtown Atlanta, near Grant Park, where a principle of Kwanzaa is highlighted each day.

Step 6

Attend special services held by some Atlanta churches that focus on the principles of Kwanzaa throughout the holiday. Participating churches include New Morning Light Baptist Church in Conley and First African Church in Lithonia.

Step 7

Mark Kwanzza by going to the Akwaaba Community Center on Second Avenue, where the principles of the holiday are celebrated with music performed by local musicians and singers.

Step 8

Celebrate Kwanzaa by taking your family to the West End Performing Arts Center. Festivities include open mic Kwanzaa-related readings, activities for children, music, food and more. The location is on Ralph David Abernathy Blvd.

Who Can Help

  • Everything About Kwanzaa
  • Atlanta Travel Guide
  • Source for Kinaras
  • Douglas Cultural Arts Center
  • Apex Museum
Keywords: Kwanzaa, holidays, culture, African-American
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