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Caucus to hold Kwanzaa event

November 27, 2000

In the spirit of the upcoming holiday season, North Complex Black Caucus will host its second annual Kwanzaa Program on Tuesday.

The program will feature a keynote speech by Kimberly Ellis, author of the “Kwanzaa Song,” as well as a rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” - also known as the “Black National Anthem” - various cultural performances and an appearance by Amka Afrika dance troupe.

The event is scheduled for 6 p.m. in the Kellogg Center’s Lincoln Room.

Kwanzaa, a weeklong holiday usually observed between Dec. 26 and Jan. 1, focuses on seven basic principles: umoja (unity), kujichagulia (self-determination), ujima (collective work and responsibility), ujamaa (cooperative economics), nia (purpose), kuumba (creativity) and imani (faith).

The principles are represented by seven candles to be lighted each day: one black, three green and three red. Black represents people, red represents struggle and green is the hope for the future that comes from the struggle.

“A lot of people aren’t aware of what Kwanzaa is,” said Terrance Wilbert, North Complex Black Caucus president. “They think it’s a religious holiday or a black holiday, so we want to educate people. This is for everyone. Although it’s focused on black culture through those seven principles, it can enhance everyone’s life.”

In the program’s first year, the caucus invited Maulana Karenga, who founded Kwanzaa in 1996, to speak at MSU.

Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend Tuesday night’s event, Wilbert said.

“We want our people to leave with a sense of unity, family and community and knowing more about Kwanzaa,” he said. “And I hope other people will try to understand and take part in cultures other than their own.”


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