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Charleston church to host community Kwanzaa celebration

December 27, 2018

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Charleston’s Unitarian Universalist church is hosting a Kwanzaa celebration for the community on Friday.

The holiday was started in 1966 by a professor of Africana studies as a celebration of family, culture and community. The seven principles of Kwanzaa are each honored for a day during the holiday. They are unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.

“We celebrate each principal of Kwanzaa throughout the week in our homes, but this is the one community day to come together and remind people of what these principles mean and how we can honor them,” event organizer Katonya Hart told the Charleston Gazette-Mail .

The Friday celebration marks the 15th year of the community celebration. It will include a presentation about Kwanzaa, performances and a potluck dinner.

Hart said Kwanzaa is not a substitute for Christmas, as some people think.

“It’s simply coming together, being able to look each other in the face, share some time, and through those experiences develop a common language.”

The Rev. Caitlin Cotter Coillberg, with the Unitarian Universalist Congregation, said she is excited “to provide opportunities for parents and families to learn about Kwanzaa.”

Hart said one of the best things about Kwanzaa that because it is so new, celebrants “can honor in their own way and bring their experiences to the celebration.”

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Information from: The Charleston Gazette-Mail, http://wvgazettemail.com.

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