As Christmas comes to an end, Kwanzaa celebrations will begin. Kwanzaa is an African-American and Pan-African holiday celebrating family, community and culture. It is held annually Dec. 26-Jan. 1, and was created in 1966 by Dr. Maulena Karenga, a California professor of African Studies.
Each day of the seven days of Kwanzaa is dedicated to a principle. In Houston and the surrounding area, Kwanzaa activities are sponsored by various organizations. Here is this year’s list of sponsors and activities:
TUESDAY, DEC. 26 – Umoja (Unity) – Greater Houston Area Kwanzaa Planning Committee, Emancipation Park Gymnasium, 3018 Emancipation Ave. (Dowling). Market opens at 5 p.m.; ceremony is at 7 p.m. Contact: 713-521-0629 or www.shape.org.
WEDNESDAY, DEC. 27 – Kujichagulia (Self-determination) – National Black United Front-Houston, Shrine of the Black Madonna Cultural Center, 5309 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Market opens at 5 p.m.; ceremony is at 7 p.m. Contact: 832-422-7806. In addition, a Children’s Kwanzaa is 6:30 a.m.-6 p.m. at Bethany Baptist Church, 7304 Homestead. Market opens at 5 p.m.; celebration is at 7 p.m. Contact: 832-359-2732 or 832-206-6456.
THURSDAY, DEC. 28 – Ujima (Collective work & responsibility) – Muhammad Mosque 45, Muhammad University of Islam & Project Row Houses, SHAPE Almeda, 3903 Almeda. Market opens at 5 p.m.; ceremony is at 7 p.m. Contact: 713-398-2681.
FRIDAY, DEC. 29 – Ujamaa (Cooperative economics) – SEHAH Youth & Fitness Center, 5110 MLK Blvd., Market opens at 5 p.m.; ceremony is at 7 p.m. Contact: 713-747-0271 or Sehah.org.
SATURDAY, DEC. 30 – Nia (Purpose) – Nia Cultural Center Old Central Cultural Center, 2627 Ave. M in Galveston. Event time 4-7 p.m. Contact: 409-457-8955 or niacultural.org. In addition, Circle Sisters 13 Ujamaa Marketplace begins at 5 p.m., followed by a 6:30 p.m. drum call and Kwanzaa ritual, and 8 p.m. community dance party, SHAPE Almeda, 3903 Almeda. Contact: Text 713-338-9343.
SUNDAY, DEC. 31 – Kuumba (Creativity) – SHAPE Community Center, 3815 Live Oak. Market opens at 5 p.m.; ceremony is at 8 p.m. Contact: 713-521-0641 or www.shape.org.
MONDAY, JAN. 1– Imani (Faith) – Shrine of the Black Madonna, 5309 MLK Blvd. Market opens at 5 p.m.; ceremony is at 7 p.m. Contact: 832-408-1071.