Celebrating the second day of Kwanzaa: Kujichagulia (self-determination)

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – “It’s a fashion show, Capoeira, Brazilian martial arts, the drummers are getting warmed up. What it’s going to look like is a lot of fun,” explained Khadijia Mbacke who organized some of Huntsville’s 2019 Kwanzaa events.

Kwanzaa is a seven-day celebration of values that brought people from all around the globe together Friday.

“You know you’re looking at Gambia, you’re looking at Senegal, West Africa,” Mbacke added. “You’ve got people from other parts of Africa here, and people from here.”

Organizers said they put on the events partially to remind people that the holiday season is vast.

“Chanukah is spelled C-H, its also spelled with an H. It is a 9-day celebration,” Mbacked explained. “We have a 7-day celebration and Christmas is a one day with the 12 days of it. You see what I mean? We just want them to understand what it is, understand why it’s important in their lives.”

Mbacke said the observance aimed at keeping the tradition alive and it starts with the youth.

“If you start them young, they will actually grow up with these instilled in them,” she said.

Though Kwanzaa is a Pan-African celebration, the ceremonies and rituals are open to people from all walks of life.

“Dr. Karenga started it in 1966 with the help of some other constituents This is very important for all people,” Mbacke explained. “All young people, all ethnicities, all religions.”

Mbacke said it’s all about education and circulation.

“It’s cultural. It’s not religious, it’s cultural,” she added.


Here are the remaining events:

Ujima Celebration

  • December 28
  • Downtown Public Library
  • 12pm-5pm

Ujamaa Celebration

  • December 29
  • Zenzele Consignment Shop
  • 3pm-10pm

Nia Celebration

  • December 30
  • Madison Public Library
  • 12pm-3pm

Kuumba Celebration

  • December 31
  • Downtown Public Library
  • 12pm-5pm

Imani Celebration

  • People are encouraged to celebrate this day at home with family



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