By BVN Staff –
The 45th annual Inland Area Kwanzaa group and the BLSA at Wilmer Amina Carter High School along with other youth groups in the community observed the first day of Kwanzaa. The festivities included music, spoken word, dancing and colorful ethnic dress, stunts and the lighting of the candles; celebrating family, community and culture.
The ingathering (Karamu) allowed folks to drink, eat, and meet and greet before being summoned to the auditorium by African drummers. During the ingathering in the multi-purpose room was a program that included, Jim Palmer, Jazz Saxophonist, Mercury Academy Drill Team of Fontana, CA and Arts in Action a Kuku performance, organized by Lori Dismuke. Following the drummers, the crowd was seated and the lights came up, emcee Cal State Professor Kathy Ervin made the announcement and out came Assembly member Amina Carter and Ratibu Shadidi, cochairs and the local keepers of the culture to welcome and explain the meaning of Kwanzaa, and to pour traditional Libations to start the program. She was dressed in a beautiful African dress and he was in a typical dress ivory Nigerian Buba. And a program it was, from the National Black Anthem lead by the group RMS to the spoken word by Hardy Brown College Prep students, and Anthony Blackshear, the Caribbean J.E.M Dance Company to the Queens of the Nile, by the Queens Historical Society. The powerful spirit of the Mask was performed by the Teye sa Thiosanne African Drum and Dance Company the program was power packed and then the stilt dancer came out displaying his skills and left the crowd amazed. The candle lighting completed the program and was led by youth Shaila Jacocks-Dameron.
The auditorium full of children, students, parents, and grandparents, many dressed in African attire from different countries, who came out to enjoy the great food, fun, and fellowship.
“This was a perfect example of Ujima, collective work at a time for work to carry on traditions,” stated Assembly member Carter.
Elected officials attending included, Chair of the Black Caucus Senator Curren Price and Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod, Councilmembers, Vincent Yzaguire, Colton, Rikke Van Johnson, San Bernardino, and school board members, JoAnn Gilbert, President of the Rialto School Board and Margaret Hill, newly elected to the San Bernardino Board of Education and San Bernardino Community College District Trustee John Futch.
The seven principles of Kwanzaa are: Umoja, Unity; Kujichagulia, self Determination; Ujima, collective work and Responsibility; Ujamaa, cooperative economics; Nia, purpose,; Kuumba, creativity; and Imani, faith.
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