ROCK HILL, S.C. - Kuumba, or creativity, will be the central focus of the 16th annual Kwanzaa celebration on Wednesday, Dec. 2, in Barnes Recital Hall.
Kwanzaa, a non-religious celebration founded in 1966, is based on seven principles: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith. The principle of creativity asks participants "to do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it."
The Kwanzaa celebration will include performances by the Winthrop West African Drum Ensemble, Vision of Prayze Gospel Choir and Skin Deep, the university's student acting troupe. Festivities begin at 7 p.m., followed by a reception.
Kareema Gray, assistant professor of social work, will serve as this year's keynote speaker. Gray joined the Department of Social Work faculty in August.
Derived from the Swahili word "Kwanza" (meaning "first), Kwanzaa marks a time when an entire community comes together to give thanks for life, crops and each other. Traditionally, the seven-day holiday is celebrated Dec. 26-Jan. 1. Since this time coincides with the university's Christmas break for students, Winthrop celebrates Kwanzaa before students leave campus for the holidays. The Dec. 2 celebration is an approved cultural event for students.
Contact the Office of Multicultural Student Life at 803/323-4524 for more information.