Unity Brings Buffalo and Rochester Together for a Historic Virtual Kwanzaa 2020!

Each year the coming of Kwanzaa causes us to come together in celebration, remembrance, reflection and recommitment,” Dr. Maulana Karenga, the creator  of the cultural holiday recently shared.  “It also urges us to constantly study and learn the deep meanings and expansive message of Kwanzaa.”

Even in the midst of this pandemic he continued, quoting author, philosopher, theologian and educator Howard Thurman, “we must ride the storm and remain in tact.”

This year the cities of Buffalo and Rochester have done just that and  in the true spirit of Umoja – Unity – ensured that Kwanzaa  will be celebrated jointly and virtually for the very first time this year. “It’s not the Kwanzaa we’ve known all these years” said   Sister Patricia Elliott  who along with Ras Muata (Centrell Smith)  serve as Co-Chairs of this year’s event.” But the love  is sill there that we’ve known all these years!”

What that love has produced is a 7-day virtual celebration featuring the best of both Buffalo’s and Rochester’s  Cultural communities. “The committees  have done an amazing job,” acknowledged  committee member Carlanda Meadows. “When people are watching they really won’t know all the time and effort a lot of people put into it or the  work behind the scenes,” she said giving a special shout out to  Tech Team Chair and Acting Treasurer of the Buffalo Kwanzaa Committee Fragrance Harris Stanfeld (a.k.a. Fragrance of Yah). Sister Patricia also had high praise for Fragrance. “Without her we couldn’t have gotten it done!”

In Rochester Delores Jackson Radney and Terry  Chaka of the Rochester Kwanzaa committee are equally excited about the collaboration and upcoming celebration. “We are really focusing on what has been Happening this year and why it’s important    to embrace the Nguzo Saba ( 7 Principals of Blackness)” said Delores . Among the highlights  will be ancestral remembrance,  The Black Agenda Group, film, dance,  movies, discussion and the Black Storytellers.

-Accessing The 2020 Kwanzaa Events-                                                                                                                                                               The beauty of going virtual is that  both communities will be able to share each  others  talents.                                                                                                                                                                              During the week the communities of Buffalo /Rochester  will be able to access the Kwanzaa celebration during the week  on all five    platforms: Instagram, Tic Toc, Face Book You Tube and Public Access.

Buffalo’s Daytime Celebration will air from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and  the evening programming from 7-9 p.m. for the 7 Days of Kwanzaa Dec. 26- to Jan. 1 and Rochester’s Pre-recorded events will  air daily from 4-6 p.m. each of the 7 days Dec.  26 – Jan.  1.

This year’s  joint  celebration actually embodies the Nguzo Saba  or  all of Kwanzaa’s 7 Principals of Blackness: Umoja (unity), Kujichagulia (self-determination), Ujima (collective work and responsibility), Ujamaa (cooperative economics), Nia (purpose), Kuumba (creativity), and Imani (faith), 

 Kwanzaa offers “A whole range of living instructions (Nguzo Saba) which we have to carry out – that is our legacy. We are actually charged with repairing humanity…repairing the entire world,” said Baba Eng of Buffalo’s Kwanzaa Committee. And we in America,  more than anyone else, are the ones  who have been  equipped to do that…once we repair ourselves.”

 Following is a sample of some of this year’s Kwanzaa Highlights and participants:.FOR MORE INFORMATION EMAIL buffalokwanzaa@gmail.com

BUFFALO Daytime Program 11am – 4pm

Umoja- Saturday, December 26th- Children’s Kwanzaa

Kujichagulia- Sunday, December 27th- Daughters of Creative Sound and Dr. Karenga’s Message

Ujima- Monday, December 28th- Cariole Horne

Ujamaa- Tuesday, December 29th- Wakanda Alliance

Nia- Wednesday, December 30th- Sabriyah Amin Smith- Walking in Your Purpose and Juneteenth of Buffalo  

Kuumba- Thursday, December 31st- Juneteenth of Buffalo  

Imani- Friday, January 1st- Mother Eva Doyle and Dr. Leslie Myers (Rochester)

BUFFALO Night Program 7pm- 9pm

Platforms: Public Access, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube

Umoja- Saturday, December 26th- Buffalo Tradition Keepers, Buffalo Soulja Orchestra, address from Ambassador Dr. 

Arikana Chihombori-Quao

Kujichagulia- Sunday, December 27th- African American Cultural Center Ujima- Monday, December 28th- Ujima Theater 

Ujamaa- Tuesday, December 29th- Afrikan Women in Business moderated by Sabriyah and Lamar Smith of WNY Community Bulletin Board  

Nia- Wednesday, December 30th- UNIA President Lion Blyden and Nia Soul Concert

Kuumba- Thursday, December 31st- Oyotunji Village Presentation and Toronto Kwanzaa Fashion 

ROCHESTER daily from 4-6 p.m. each of the 7 days Dec.  26 – Jan.  1

Umoja   Saturday, December 26  Sponsor:  Black Agenda Group (BAG) 

Kujichagulia  Sunday December 27 Terry Chaka

Ujima Monday December   Black Story Tellers, Steppers, Negus El Bey – Nutrition

Tap Dancer, EZ Works- Exercise

Ujamaa  Cooperative Economics Tuesday, December 29- Craig Carson/Aneesah Willis Panel  

Nia-Purpose/Wednesday December 30th- Abraham Steiner

Guest Speakers Karen and Celeste Barkley Dr. Eddy More

Kuumba Night Thursday December 31 Delores Jackson 

Radney/David Anderson Sankofa, Children’s Video, Exhibition, Kaylon the Artist