Kwanzaa, the annual pan-African celebration of family, community and culture, founded by Dr. Maulana Karenga, kicks off today and runs through Jan. 1.

The week-long holiday celebration in Charleston — “Returning to the Roots” — will be marked by several scheduled events that advance the seven principles of Kwanzaa: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.


7 p.m.: Ecumenical service at Nichols Chapel AME Church, Kennedy and President streets. Speakers include Charleston City Councilman Dudley Gregorie, retired Charleston Municipal Judge Arthur McFarland, Azikiwe Chandler, chairman of the annual Charleston Middle Passage Remembrance Program, and Dr. Al Fraser, co-author of “To Be or Not to Bop: Memoirs of Dizzy Gillespie,” will talk about the principles of Kwanzaa.


6-8 p.m.: Tri County Black Nurses Association will sponsor “An Evening in the Spirit”, featuring speakers, African drum and dance and healthy feast.


2 p.m.: St. Julian Devine Recreation Center will hold a community parade beginning at 2 p.m. at Mall Park. Included are speakers, a fashion show and food.

6 p.m.: An annual multifaceted program will be held at the Cannon Street YMCA. Included are speakers, entertainment and refreshments.

7-9 p.m.: Speakers and refreshments, Kingdom Revelation Worship Center, 279 Orangeburg Road, Summerville.


1-4 p.m.: RBM and Wos’se African Drum and Dance groups present an afternoon of cultural experience at Ferndale Community Center, 1919 Bolton Ave.


4-8 p.m.: Huger’s 587 King St. A reggae band, spoken word and refreshments are included. Donation $5


3-6 p.m.: Master dance and drum classes for beginners at NIA Infant and Toddler Child Development Center, 2007 Helm Ave.

Jan. 1

1 p.m.: Remembrance ceremony at Sankofa Memorial Burial Grounds, Maybank and Folly roads.

4-8 p.m.: Entertainment, food and vendors, Ferndale Community Center 1919 Bolton Ave.

Staff report