History of Kwanzaa – Delray Beach

Lorea Thomson
Posted by Lorea Thomson
Updated on
Published in Arts & Culture

Celebrate Kwanzaa from Delray Beach to West Palm Beach this holiday season. This winter holiday takes place from December 26 through January 1 each year. Kwanzaa celebrates harvest festival traditions from various parts of Africa. The name Kwanzaa is derived from the phrase “matunda ya kwanza” which means “first fruits” in Swahili.

Although Kwanzaa is based on ancient and modern celebrations in Egypt and Southeastern Africa, the Kwanzaa holiday as we know it today was started in the United States. Kwanzaa was created in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga, a professor at California State University, Long Beach after the Watts Riots in Los Angeles. 

The colors of Kwanzaa are black, red, and green. Black represents the color of the people of Africa. Red stands for the struggles of the African peoples and the blood they have shed. Green symbolizes the fertile land of Africa and hope. 

Kwanzaa is a non-religious holiday that lasts seven days, each one with a focus on a different principle:

Day 1: “Umoja” means unity.

Day 2: “Kujichagulia” means self-determination.

Day 3: “Ujima” means working together.

Day 4: “Ujamaa” means supporting each other.

Day 5: “Nia” means purpose.

Day 6: “Kuumba” means creativity.

Day 7: “Imani” means faith. 

Dance & Drum Kwanzaa Performance - West Palm Beach

Afrique Ngozi Dance & Drum Kwanzaa performance is set for 7 p.m. Dec 27, 2021, at The Square, Okeechobee Boulevard, and Rosemary Avenue in downtown West Palm Beach. Free.

Kwanzaa Festivities - Delray Beach

Art activities, live entertainment, and storytelling will be part of Kwanzaa festivities set for 2:30-5 p.m. Dec. 26, 2021, at Spady Cultural Heritage Museum, 170 NW Fifth Ave., Delray Beach. Free.

Poetry with Nantambu - West Palm Beach

Nantambu, the poet of Bootstraps Productions, is featured with original poetry for Kwanzaa during a kid-friendly event from 6-7 p.m. Dec. 30, 2021. The event, designed to promote inclusion and diversity, is at Rohi’s Readery, 600 S. Rosemary Avenue, West Palm Beach. Free.




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