Community, shared experience, and unity are the words Jawad Cipriani ’08 uses to describe Kwanzaa as well as the upcoming celebration of the holiday at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 7, Sankofa will sponsor the Kwanzaa dinner in the Common Room in the Scandling Center.
Kwanzaa is a seven-day celebration of African-American history and culture. Created by Ron Karenga and first celebrated in 1966-67, it is a family- and community-oriented celebration of African-American culture and struggle. The celebration offers thanks and acknowledges Nguzo Saba, the seven principles. Each of these principles – Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (Self-determination), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity), and Imani (Faith) – is represented by a candle, one lighted each night of Kwanzaa.
The HWS Kwanzaa Celebration will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 7, when traditional African-American foods will be offered by the dining services staff. African-inspired dancers, musicians, student poets and student singing groups (including Harmonies with Soul) will perform, exploring the theme of arts and activism. An intriguing story will be shared by profound storyteller Beverly Cottonman. A Kwanzaa display is now set up in the library atrium.
Tickets for the dinner are available for the dinner at The College Store: $5 for HWS students and $7 for others. All are invited.