Kwanzaa is a seven-day cultural celebration that was created by Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1966, in the midst of the Black Freedom Movement. The holiday is celebrated each year on December 26 through January 1 by African Americans as a way to reaffirm their heritage and culture and their bonds to one another as a community. Kwanzaa is celebrated with candle-lighting ceremony, a feast and gift-giving. Here are some special events honoring Kwanzaa around the Washington, D.C. area.
Alexandria Black History Museum - December 9, 2017, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. 902 Wythe Street Alexandria, VA. (703) 838-4356. The museum's annual Kwanzaa celebration explores the history and significance of Kwanzaa. Learn about the principles of Kwanzaa, a seven-day cultural celebration. The program will include a variety of creative games, interactive songs, dances and hands-on crafts. There is a $5.00 fee for this event. Reservations are strongly encouraged.
Coyaba Dance Theater - December 16-17, 2017. Dance Place, 3225 8th St NE, Washington, D.C. (202) 269-1600. Kwanzaa Celebration. Coyoba Academy, Coyaba Dance Theater and special guests celebrate the seven principles of Kwanzaa. The performance includes singing, dancing, drumming, storytelling and more. Tickets: $15-30.
Anacostia Community Museum - 1901 Fort Place SE, Washington, D.C.
- December 26, 2017, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Kwanzaa Celebration with Nana Mayala Rucker, "The Dancing Diplomat & Nubian," combines the masterful skills of dance, music, storytelling and more with plenty of audience participation and African percussive instruments. The program includes introducing the audience to the history of Kwanzaa, its seven guiding principles and associated symbols, songs, dances and customs. The program is FREE.
- December 27, 2017, 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Kwanzaa Celebration with Melvin Deal African Heritage Dancers and Drummers. Melvin Deal is the Founding Executive Artistic Director of the African Heritage Dancers and Drummers and has worked tirelessly in addressing issues of violence, delinquency and dysfunctional lifestyles and abuse in African-American communities. A graduate of Howard University, Deal is an accomplished dancer, musician, choreographer, researcher, and arts educator.
- December 28, 2017, 10 a.m. -2:30 p.m Celebrate Kwanzaa with all-day arts and crafts at the museum.