LANSING - The annual celebration to mark the beginning of Kwaanza tonight is being postponed. St. Stephen's Community Church is still without electricty, so they are postponing the Kwaanza celebration to the the 7th and final day of Kwaanza. The celebration will take place January 1st from 6-8pm. The church is located at 1007 Kimberly Drive in Lansing.
In Swahili, Kwanzaa means "first fruits of harvest. Kwaanza was created in 1966 by Maulana Karenga, Ph. D., chairman of the Black Studies Department of California State University, to introduce the values, customs and traditions of Africa and to increase the awareness in African-Americans of their own rich cultural heritage. The celebration includes music, dance, poetry, and feasting on African/African American/Caribbean foods. The holiday also includes the affirmation of seven Kwanzaa principles, and symbols that represent the spirit and meaning of Kwanzaa." The seven principles that are affirmed along with their Swahili terms are unity (Umoja), self-determination (Kujichagulia), collective work and responsibility (Ujima), cooperative economics (Ujamaa), purpose (Nia), creativity (Kuumba) and faith (Imani.)