Alexandria celebrates Kwanzaa with two special programs next month at the .
The Family Kwanzaa Celebration program runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10. Conducted by Culture Kingdom Kids, educator Jessica Smith will teach families fun ways to celebrate the seven days of Kwanzaa through a variety of interactive performances, hands-on activities and crafts. “Culture Queen,” the superhero mascot of Culture Kingdom Kids, also will make a special appearance. Admission is $5 per person, and advance reservations are recommended.
Then, at 4:30 p.m., attend a free screening of “The Black Candle: A Kwanzaa Celebration.” This documentary from M.K. Asante uses Kwanzaa as a vehicle to explore and celebrate the African-American experience. Filmed across the United States, Africa, Europe and the Caribbean, “The Black Candle” is a timely illumination on why the seven principles of Kwanzaa are important to African Americans today. Narrated by Maya Angelou, it traces the holiday's growth out of the Black Power Movement in the 1960s to its present-day reality as a global, pan-African holiday embraced by over 40 million celebrants. This viewing is part of “Movies with a Mission,” a series of films about the African Diaspora that seek to inform and inspire dialogue.
Kwanzaa, a seven-day cultural celebration that begins Dec. 26 and ends Jan. 1, was created in 1966 by Maulana Karenga who designed the celebration as a way for African Americans to reaffirm their heritage, culture and community bonds.