Kwanzaa celebrates African heritage

Emily Andrews

Storyteller Barbara Eady appeared at the Kwanza celebration last night, held in the Student Multicultural Center. REBECCA MOIDEL | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: Dan Kloock

Unity was the theme of the Kwanzaa celebration held last night in the Student Multicultural Center at the Student Center.

Kwanzaa is a secular festival celebrating African heritage.

Professor Willie J. Harrell Jr., adviser for the Black Graduate Students Association, used Martin Luther King Jr. and the unity of the civil rights movement to demonstrate the importance of Kwanzaa.

In a recitation, he stressed the seven principles of Kwanzaa, called the Nguzo Saba. The seven principles are unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.

“Unity is key to any success that blacks have had,” Harrell said. “They’re just words, but what matters is the qualities they imply.”

African storyteller Barbara Eady told three stories. The first related to the seven principles of Kwanzaa, the second was a church folk story and the third was a twist on the turtle and the hare fable.

The event was sponsored by the Black Graduate Students Association, the Pan-African Faculty and Staff Association, the Office of Diversity and Academic Initiatives and the Graduate Student Senate.

“I think it’s important we celebrate Kwanzaa,” said Bridgett King, co-chair of the Black Graduate Students Association. “As old as it is, many people don’t know about how the principles affect our daily life.”

Contact news correspondent Emily Andrews at [email protected].