With start of Kwanzaa, celebrations will be each night for Tyler residents

Published: Dec. 26, 2021 at 6:42 PM CST
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Kwanzaa is a seven-day celebration that pays tribute to the rich cultural roots of African ancestry, community, and various principles. Ch’Tory Buckner, who is is part of the African American Cultural Events Committee in Tyler, said they’ve hosted a public celebration for more than 35 years.

“They can expect to learn more about Kwanzaa and why it is celebrated. Once again, they’ll learn about a different principle each night,” Buckner said. “There are seven total principles, and each night, the speaker will go in-depth on whatever principle that he or she is speaking on.”

Tonight they lit the black Umoja candle in the Kinara, which is the candle holder. Umoja stands for unity.

“To me, that means it doesn’t matter what race or creed we are, what religion we are, as long as we can help one another and focus on being there for one another,” Bucker said.

The holiday emphasizes seven principles. Unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith. As the week goes on, Buckner said they will light the other six candles and talk more about the other principles. The week will wrap up with a feast.

“During the Kwanzaa celebration that’ll be held on January 1, we will have a feast where people are free to come and taste the food that is from African culture,” Buckner said. “And that will also bring an awareness to them, some of the foods that are in the African culture, and hopefully, they’ll bring that food and the traditions and things that they’ve learned back to their families throughout the year.”

Their celebration is free and everyone is invited. It takes place each night from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Tyler Public Library until the last night on January 1st.

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