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Kwanzaa Celebrated in the Inland Empire

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By Cheryl Brown –

For forty-three years the Jacocks have been celebrating Kwanzaa, a culturally known holiday developed by Dr. Maulana Karenga. Bill “Ratibu” Jacocks and his wife Wilmer “Amina” Carter, now a California Assemblymember, have celebrated Kwanzaa from the beginning first in their home and after outgrowing the space moved to other venues. This year, the event, attended by about 150 people, was held at the Rialto Senior Citizen’s Center.

Ratibu Jacocks and A. Majadi begin this year’s Kwanzaa celebration.The Kwanzaa celebration focuses on traditional African values of family, community responsibility, culture commerce and self-improvement and is guided by seven principals. It is celebrated December 26th to January 1st with each night celebrating a different principle, Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (Self Determination), Ujima (Collective work and responsibility), Ujamaa (Collective economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity), and Imani (Faith).

The program, sponsored by the Inland Empire Kwanzza Group, opened with a Drum Call by A. Majadi, Executive Director of the Boys and Girls’ Club.

Emcees were Imani Baylor and Aallyah Bey with the welcome from Dr. Mpigani Kweli and singing the Black National anthem led by Lauren Smith.

Singers Jazmine Bey and spoken word by Josiliyn McDaniel, Sarah Shabazz, and Chantel Earl.

Also on program were the Black Student Leadership Alliance from Carter High School, Shonda “Shandi” Hutton, and rounding out the evening was Ratibu lighting the candles.

 

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