Habari Gani! It's Kwanzaa Time!
The Annual City-Wide Kwanzaa Celebration held by the National Black United Front – Kansas City Chapter (NBUF-KC) in partnership with the American Jazz Museum (AJM) celebrates our 36th anniversary with the theme "Black In Love Again".
Kansas City is one of only a handful of cities nationwide that celebrate Kwanzaa a full seven (7) days. The first six (6) days, December 26 through December 31st are celebrated at the Historic Gem Theater on 18th and Vine, Kansas City, Missouri. It opens each evening at 6pm with the African Market. The program begins each night promptly at 7pm with a drum call and procession. The last day, January 1st, is celebrate at Nefertiti Ballroom in Kansas City, Kansas where we will climax with a program and unity feast. Again, starting promptly at 3pm with a drum call and procession.
Each night is hosted by a local community organization who highlights the principles of Kwanzaa with unique performances, speakers and talent. During the opening ceremony, we honor our Ancestors, our journey as a people and our elders. Kwanzaa is a family friendly celebration that encourages family, community and culture.
History of Kwanzaa
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:
The Origins of Kwanzaa the First-Fruits Celebration
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.