After School Matters will host its inaugural Kwanzaa Celebration at Manley High School on Thursday, December 7, 2017. This event will bring together many After School Matters programs and teens to uplift the seven principles of Kwanzaa through the arts. The show will feature performances by our incredibly talented teens, a gallery of visual art, and a feast of African cuisine prepared by our culinary arts program at Manley. It is our hope that this celebration brings forth a deeper understanding of African culture, while spreading its values and principles that connects all of humanity.
The name Kwanzaa is derived from the phrase “matunda ya kwanza” which means “first fruits” in Swahili. The principles, called the Nguzo Saba (seven principles in Swahili) are values of African Culture which contribute to building and reinforcing community among African-Americans. The celebration honors African heritage in African-American culture, and is observed from December 26th to January 1st, culminating in a feast and gift-giving. It is a cultural observance in which Africans renew and affirm the strengths and values of ourselves and our ancestors. It was created by Maulana Karenga and was first celebrated in 1966–67. Harambee is the celebration on the last day of the Kwanzaa festival in which we all pull together in our community with song dance, poetry and drumming.