Kwanzaa events

Kwanzaa is an annual pan-African celebration of seven principles: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith. The holiday was established in 1966.

Scheduled Kwanzaa events for the Lowcountry include the following:

Sunday: Ujamaa - Cooperative Economics

A program involving African dancing and exercising will be held at the Ferndale Community Center, 1919 Wilson Ave., from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Monday: Nia - Purpose

Families are encouraged to celebrate Kwanzaa in their homes by discussing the holiday's principles and planning for the future.

Tuesday: Kuumba - Creativity

An arts and crafts event for children will be held at the NIA Infant and Toddler Center, 2007 Helm Ave., from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Wednesday: Imani - Faith

A remembrance ceremony will be held 1 p.m. at Sankofa Memorial Grounds near Maybank Highway and Folly Road.

A Karumu community feast will also be held at Scott's Grand Hall, 5060 Dorchester Road, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. The event will feature food, entertainment and vendors. Poets, musicians, singers are invited to perform.

Source: Facebook page for the Lowcountry Kwanzaa Planning Committee

Unity. Faith. Purpose. Creativity.

Community members on Saturday shouted the principles of Kwanzaa throughout Charleston's East Side community in celebration of the pan-African holiday.

The group, comprised of about 75 people, gathered at Mall Park near America and Columbus streets, then marched a half-mile to the St. Julian Devine Community Center.

Attendee Osei Chandler led participants in a series of chants as they paraded through the streets.

"Faith! Faith! Faith! In what? Our people," Chandler shouted, pumping his fist skyward. Men, women and children repeated the call in unity as they followed him.

The group's cheers drew onlookers from surrounding homes. Passersby paused and smiled at the display of unity and pride.

Saturday's celebration focused on the principle of Ujima in recognition of the third day of Kwanzaa. The Swahili word means collective work and responsibility.

In all, seven principles are celebrated over the course of the holiday. The others include unity, self-determination, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.

The event's organizer Elizabeth Castle said by teaching the principles she hopes the message will resonate in the community throughout the year.

Once at the community center, attendees discussed each principle and the holiday's history to the sounds of African drums. Other slated activities included gift giving, a dance competition, award presentation and a community dinner.

Several Gullah-Geechee themed paintings by local artist Brother Nizar were featured at the event.

"Kwanzaa encourages us all to make our community better than we received it," Nizar said. "These are principles that we all can come together on."

Reach Christina Elmore at 937-5908.