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Wichita Community Kwanzaa Celebration

Courtesy photo

The 10th annual Kwanzaa: Unity Celebration will be held on December 26 in north Wichita. Participants will celebrate family, community and culture.

Kwanzaa, which means first fruit in Swahili, is a week-long observance that highlights African and African-American heritage and culture. Founded in the 1960’s, Kwanzaa is celebrated annually from December 26 through January 1.

Storyteller Tasleem Mutasid says everyone can learn at the community enrichment event.

"I’ll be talking about Kwanzaa and we’ll have a Kwanzaa display for everyone to see," says Muqtasid. “Also, we’ll have a lighting of the first candle which is the black candle which stands for unity, and then an explanation of all the Kwanzaa symbols and it’s meaning and its origins so people become familiar.”

Muqtasid says attendees will learn the Kwanzaa principles including unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith.

“We are inviting families to come out," she says. “They will be talking to The Elders in groups. There’s going to be a lot of fun. There’s going to be books given away to children. There will be five families that will receive the CD called Kwanzaa, What it is and How to Celebrate It.”

Muqtasid says they’ll also prepare a Kuumba or creativity salad where The Elders will provide the greens and participants are asked to bring one ingredient to add to the salad as part of the celebration.

The Kwanzaa celebration is organized by The African American Council of Elders ~ Wichita/Sedgwick County and the Wichita Branch NAACP. The event will take place Thursday at the Madison Avenue Clubhouse located at 1005 N. Madison in Wichita from 3-6pm.

Carla Eckels is Director of Organizational Culture at KMUW. She produces and hosts the R&B and gospel show Soulsations and brings stories of race and culture to The Range with the monthly segment In the Mix. Carla was inducted into The Kansas African American Museum's Trailblazers Hall of Fame in 2020 for her work in broadcast/journalism.