Pre-Kwanzaa Celebration at UNCW to Reflect on Ritual and Tradition Nov. 30

A Kwanzaa table decorated with tradtional African artifacts.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Upperman African American Cultural Center at the University of North Carolina Wilmington will host its fifth annual community Pre-Kwanzaa Celebration at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30 in the UNCW Burney Center. Everyone is invited to attend this cultural event focused on the tradition and symbolism of Kwanzaa.

Participants will learn the Nguzo Saba, the seven principles of Kwanzaa, and how each of these principles plays a vital role in the progress of this cultural celebration. Charles Davis, founder and artistic director of the African American Dance Ensemble, will conduct the candle lighting ceremony.

Admission is free, but those who attend are asked to bring canned goods or other non-perishable items to be donated to New Hanover County Meals On Wheels.

The evening's entertainment will include a performance by drummer/dancer Chieck Sokko, storytelling by Joyce Grear and a performance by actor Ron Dortch.

The Upperman Center hosts their annual program prior to Kawanza and final campus exams to encourage the UNCW and Wilmington communities to celebrate the holiday together.

Kwanzaa is an African American and Pan-African holiday that celebrates family, community and culture. Celebrated from December 26 through January 1, its origins are in the first harvest celebrations of Africa from which it takes its name. The holiday, which is cultural and not religious, was created in 1966 by Maulana Karenga, professor of Africana Studies at California State University, Long Beach, author and scholar-activist, who stressed the need to preserve, continually revitalize and promote African American culture.

For more information on the UNCW Upperman African American Cultural Center:

Media Contact:
Joy Davis, UNCW media relations, 910.632.3903 or