NEWBURGH –The Black History Committee of the Hudson Valley held their 16th annual Kwazaa Celebration on Sunday at the Mt. Calvary Fire Baptized Church in Newburgh.
This year’s program, featured a wide variety of activities to highlight and educate those gathered about the rich traditions of Kwanzaa, which is celebrated from December 26 to January 1.
While all of the seven principals where highlighted throughout the evening, the third principal Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility) was emphasized.
Black History Committee Chairperson Sadie Tallie commended the committee for their hard work and dedication, not only to the group, but to the people they educate regarding African-American heritage and culture.
“The African-American heritage is rich and deep,” said Tallie, who is determined to do everything possible to keep it alive and pass along its traditions.
“It’s important for the community to have an event like this because we have such a rich history, and we want to make sure that everyone, especially the young people, are aware of it as well as the resources available to them, and during Kwanzaa we have the opportunity to do just that.”
The event featured seven young men, each discussing a Nguzo Saba – The Seven Principals – one for each night: Unity, Self-Determination, Collective Work and Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativity, and Faith.
In addition to the singing of the Negro National Anthem, Prayers & Meditation, as well as Libations, the evening included cultural expression, featuring New Beginners Praise Dancers and a performance by Drummer Extraordinaire Kozi Oliver.
A Kwanzaa Candle Ceremony & Zawadi followed, led by Bishop Dorsey and Donald Fryar.
A Kwanzaa Table, complete with a Unity Cup as well as corn and fruit, symbols for the children who will grow, held the large candle holder. Several candles were lit, including a red one, standing for blood.
Other colored candles, such as green for the growth and abundance of the African people were also part of the holiday’s many traditions.
Next up for the Committee is its Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration, held in Newburgh on January 20, 2020 and expected to have a large turnout as many exciting activities, workshops and other positive and enlightening events are planned.