Noble Hill to celebrate principles of Kwanzaa
by Marie Nesmith
Dec 21, 2012 | 1533 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Curator Marian Coleman, from left, with volunteers Linda Everett, Mary McCleary and Alma B. Smallwood help set a festive mood for Kwanzaa at the Noble Hill-Wheeler Memorial Center. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
Curator Marian Coleman, from left, with volunteers Linda Everett, Mary McCleary and Alma B. Smallwood help set a festive mood for Kwanzaa at the Noble Hill-Wheeler Memorial Center. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
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Through the Noble Hill-Wheeler Memorial Center’s program on Dec. 29, participants will learn more about the principles of Kwanzaa.

“This year we’ll be celebrating Kwanzaa with family history, with the music of our culture, gospel singing,” said Marian Coleman, curator for Noble Hill, a black heritage museum located at 2361 Joe Frank Harris Parkway in Cassville. “We’ll be doing authentic African-American food. We call it soul food. We’ll be having games. ... We also are trying to get a lady to come and speak to us a little about unity — that’s the principle we’ll be talking about this time.”

Created in 1966 by Maulana Karenga, Kwanzaa is an African-American and Pan-African holiday in which people reflect on their culture, family and history, and set goals for the future. By applying principles — unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith — to their lives, the participants work toward bettering their lives and strengthening ties with their family and community.

Along with the 7 p.m. program on Dec. 29, area residents also can view a Kwanzaa display at Noble Hill, which will be on exhibit Dec. 26 to 29 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“The display will have the seven principles,” Coleman said. “We’ll have the table set up with different types of symbols of Kwanzaa. ... [We want the public to know] it’s not a religious holiday. But it is a time when families can get together, remember, reminisce about their history and recommit to goals that would help the family draw closer together and the community draw closer together. And [it is] just a time of fun and fellowship.”

Celebrated annually from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1, www.officialkwanzaawebsite.org said, “[Kwanzaa’s] origins are in the first harvest celebrations of Africa from which it takes its name. ... Kwanzaa builds on the five fundamental activities of Continental African ‘first fruit’ celebrations: ingathering; reverence; commemoration; recommitment; and celebration.

“Kwanzaa, then, is:

• a time of ingathering of the people to reaffirm the bonds between them;

• a time of special reverence for the creator and creation in thanks and respect for the blessings, bountifulness and beauty of creation;

• a time for commemoration of the past in pursuit of its lessons and in honor of its models of human excellence, our ancestors;

• a time of recommitment to our highest cultural ideals in our ongoing effort to always bring forth the best of African cultural thought and practice; and

• a time for celebration of the Good, the good of life and of existence itself, the good of family, community and culture, the good of the awesome and the ordinary, in a word the good of the divine, natural and social.”

For more information about Noble Hill’s Kwanzaa offering, call 770-382-3392.