Kwanzaa underway; focusing today on building community

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The African-American week-long holiday Kwanzaa is underway, with today’s focus being on building community.

Local historian Brenda Brown held a Kwanzaa celebration in her Endwell home today as she has for decades.

The 7 day festival involves the lighting of 7 candles each representing a different guiding principle.

Today’s is Nia which means purpose and stresses that it is the job of everyone to build and develop the community.

The other principles of African heritage are unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, creativity and faith.

Brown says the holiday prompts families to have discussions on these important topics.

Kwanzaa Celebrant Brenda Brown says, “It’s a way with those principles to keep it going, each day. If you start with unity and end with faith, this is a good beginning to the New Year.”

Brown was joined by friends and their grandchildren who reflected on their family and their history.

Kwanzaa, which means “first fruits” in Swahili, began on December 26th and ends on New Year’s Day.

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