The Seven Days of Kwanzaa

The founder of Kwanzaa, Maulana Karenga, will be celebrating the holiday in Buffalo this year. He is the keynote speaker on Friday evening at a celebration held at the Buffalo Museum of Science.

Samuel L. Radford III, who is the chairman of the Buffalo celebration, said in a Buffalo News article that Karenga has attended the Buffalo celebration on almost a yearly basis.

“Buffalo has one of the largest Kwanzaa celebrations in the country, so Dr. Karenga honors that by making the commitment every year,” Radford said.

Radford also said that Buffalo celebrates Kwanzaa for all seven days unlike other cities that may have larger celebrations, but only do-so for one night. Radford attributed Buffalo’s traditional celebration to why Karenga attends the Buffalo event every year.

According to an article on, the term Kwanzaa is based on the Swahili term “matunda ya kwanza” which means “first fruits.”

The seven days of Kwanza each have their own principle, and today (Wednesday) is the third day of Kwanza, which is Ujima or “collective work and responsibility.” According to the article, this principle is meant to build or maintain our community together and our brothers and sisters problems are our problems and we work to solve them together.

This fits well with many of the beliefs and goals of the Adoption STAR agency. At Adoption STAR we work together with birth families and adoptive families to find loving forever families for all of our children. We also offer education and support to all of our clients to help them through their most challenging moments whether it is deciding whether to place a child, grieving their infertility, or any other situation that may arise.

One of our many goals in 2012 is to increase volunteerism and client and community involvement. As the principle says, we wish to “build or maintain our community together.”

According to the article, the other six principles of Kwanzaa are:

Day 1 – “Umoja” or “Unity”

Day 2 – “Kujichagulla” or “self-determination

Day 4 – “Ujamaa” or “Cooperative Economics”

Day 5 – “Nia” or “Purpose”

Day 6 – “Kuumba” or “Creativity”

Day 7 – “Imani” or “Faith”

The Buffalo News article said that Kwanzaa is a “nonreligious” holiday, and the article echoes this by stating that the holiday gives leeway for each family to celebrate in their own way. Many Kwanzaa celebrations will include “songs and dances, African drums, storytelling, poetry reading and a large traditional meal.” Families will light a candle for each night of the holiday while discussing that night’s principle.

Buffalo will be celebrating day three of Kwanzaa tonight at the Frank E. Meriweather Jr. Library, which is located at 1324 Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo. Author Queen Afua, who wrote “Sacred Woman: A Guide to Healing the Feminine Body, Mind and Spirit” will be the keynote speaker, which will be followed by a dance.

For more information on other events during Buffalo’s celebration of Kwanzaa, please click here.

Kwanzaa Celebrations in other areas:

Rochester, NY

The city of Rochester is also celebrating all seven days of Kwanzaa. Wednesday’s celebration will take place at the North Street Recreation Center, 700 North Street, from 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm. For more information on this celebration the website says to contact the Kwanzaa hotline at (585)436-6453. For more information, please click here.

Syracuse, NY

The Southwest Community Center, 401 South Avenue, will be hosting a Kwanzaa celebration on each of the seven nights. Each night begins at 6 pm and will culminate on January 1st with Kwanzaa Fest where there will be “dinner, dancing and music.” For more information, please click here.

Albany, NY

There will be a Kwanzaa celebration at the Shenendowa Methodist Church, in Clifton Park on Wednesday. According to the Albany Times Union, Kim and Reggie Harris will be providing musical entertainment. Please click here.

New York City

There are many Kwanzaa celebrations throughout the week in New York City. For more information on a celebration close to you, please click here.

Columbus, OH

The New Harvest Cafe and Urban Arts Center, 1675 Arlington Avenue, NE Columbus, OH, will be hosting a “Kwanzaa Celebration of Creativity (Kummba)” on Saturday, December 31, from 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm. For more information on the event, please click here.

Fort Lauderdale, FL

The African American Research Library and Cultural Center, 2650 Sistrunk Blvd. Fort Lauderdale, will be hosting a Kwanzaa celebration on Wednesday from 1:00 pm – 7:00 pm. The event will include steel drumming, a panel discussion, dance drama and poetry. For more information on this event and others during the week, please click here.

Add the Columbus, OH info if there is no Cincinnati info

To read the full article on Kwanzaa, please click here.