During the 2015 legislative session, Nevada legislators passed multicultural education legislation. I’m honored to work on the Nevada Department of Education Multicultural Education Advisory Committee making recommendations to the Nevada Academic Standards Council that incorporates racially/ethnically diverse populations in the social studies standards. This work reemphasized to me the importance of passing down our African American Heritage, and with the Kwanzaa holiday approaching you have plenty of time to plan your special celebration. Here are a few ideas from our family celebration along with links and resources for your convenience.
Kwanzaa celebrates its 50th anniversary this year from December 26th – January 1st that will traditionally cumulate with a festive pot-luck dinner on the last day. Founded by Dr. Maulana Krenga in 1966, each day of the week-long event celebrates one of seven principals and is celebrated by lighting of a candle. Kwanzaa instills strong values and self-esteem in our children through knowledge of their rich cultural contributions and achievements in world history. Go to http://www.officialkwanzaawebsite.org/index.shtml to learn more about the principals and symbols of Kwanzaa.
To celebrate this fun and educational holiday, children activities should include reading, dancing to traditional music, sing-a-longs, puzzles, historical/fictional and culturally rich movies (don’t forget to discuss important points and life lessons), art projects, listening to family stories of ancestors, and creating a showcase for your pot-luck dinner on New Year’s Day with family and friends. Bring family together by making your own Kwanzaa Celebration Day invitations and plan a traditional pot-luck with family and friends. Encourage your children’s help and ideas in the planning and ask each guest to bring a dry ear of corn to represent each of their children. During the lighting of the Kinara, ask a blessing for each of the children. Our family allowed the children to take turns lighting a candle on the Kinara as we recited the principal of each day. Together, plan a family visit to the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, TN or National African American Museum in Washington D.C. and most of all remember that KWANZAA is a lifestyle that will enrich each of our lives and promises a legacy we can all be proud of.
Happy KWANZAA… Happy Holidays and my prayer is that peace be with you in 2017.
http://www.civilrightsmuseum.org/ https://nmaahc.si.edu/ http://www.ancestry.com/