Just a week ago I went to a Kwanzaa celebration. It was held at the KRST Unity Center of Afrakan Spiritual Science in Los Angeles. It is ran by Reverend Dr Richard Byrd and his wife Reverend Erica Byrd. The center is dedicated to the principles and practices of MAAT. The event itself was free for all to come. It was nice to see so many black men,women and children having a great time. There was no drama and no fighting . There were black vendors and musicians that performed. There was a candle lighting ceremony that highlighted the principles of Kwanzaa. They explained libation and why our ancestors did it. There was a beautiful poem by poet Tasha Auset. A rap performance by a young man named Jeremiah Berryman. He was a real talented brother. He was dropping positive lyrics with no profanity. There was comedy by Daryl Mooney the son of comedian Paul Mooney. As well as a Kwanzaa play and African dancing. At the intermission the reggae group Fountain of Roots performed. Guest speaker Michael Imhotep from the African History Network had a lecture at the end of the ceremony. I really enjoyed myself. You could feel the love in the place. It’s nice to be around black people that are comfortable in their own skin. Everyone I met was really positive. The vibe was very positive. But I had such a great time I thought I would share some of the pictures and videos of the event.
This brother(above) is Tony B. Conscious. He’s a very talented rapper and spits positive lyrics. I was joking around with him the whole night. He is really cool and a down to earth brother.
This is Tony’s apparel he was selling at the event. He not only raps but makes t-shirts,beanies,hats,jewelry and is a painter. He’s a very talented artist. This brother does it all! I bought a beanie and t-shirt from him.
This beautiful sista is Yendi Serwaa. She is a very talented woman in her own right. She makes all these unique crafts and is also a painter.
These are some of the products(above) she was selling. Yendi is also on the Board of Directors at the KRST Unity Center.
This picture(above) is of Reverend Richard Byrd and Herb Alkhemyst. Byrd is also known as Meri Ka Ra. It was a pleasure to meet the elder. He was a very nice man. The lovely Alkhemyst is a singer/songwriter and herbalist.
Koshana Kweli and Kateria Knows also attended the event. Kweli is a spiritual consultant and child care provider. Kateria is an amazing astrologer and creator of the Real Family Reunion. Kateria spoke at the event about the power of purpose. It was a great speech. They were really cool and down to earth sistas. It was a pleasure to meet them.
This picture(above) is with Herb Alkhemyst and her sister Kateria Knows. They’re pictured with Michael Imhotep. He has a blogtalk radio program called African History Network. Imhotep gave a very powerful lecture at the event. I got a chance to chat with Imhotep for about thirty minutes after the event. I even bought a few of his dvd’s.
This was their first annual Kwanzaa event. They say they will do more in the future. I’ll definitely try to attend the event again. It was just a really nice way to end the year. Black people talking about black unity,black economics,African culture,black history,black relationships,black unity and black love. And those are the things we all need to carry on into 2018. ❤
Umoja Karamu (oo-MOH-jah kah-RAH-moo) is a celebration of unity within the African-American family, community, and nation. Umoja Karamu is a Swahili term meaning “unity feast.” Many African Americans celebrate this day as an alternative to the national Thanksgiving Day holiday. The unity feast may also be observed during Kwanzaa celebrations in late December.
The concept of African and African-American unity is centuries old. But during the 1960s and 1970s, it was a major focus of black nationalists. During the 1980s and 1990s, Afrocentric scholars such as Ishakamusa Barashango, lecturer, author, and founder of Philadelphia’s Temple of the Black Messiah, drew further attention to the theme.
Barashango, who died in 2004, argued that African Americans and black people of the diaspora should reject such European-American holidays as Thanksgiving and concentrate instead on understanding Africa’s culture and values that are the distinctive heritage of black people.
In 1971 Brother Edward Simms Jr. of the Temple of the Black Messiah in Philadelphia developed Umoja Karamu to celebrate the African-American family and home. According to Barashango, Simms defined the purpose of Umoja Karamu as “an effort to inject new meaning and solidarity into the Black Family through ceremony and symbol.”
The date for the holiday, the fourth Sunday of November, was established by the Temple of the Black Messiah in Washington, D.C. African Americans in other cities, including Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Chicago, soon followed the example.
The celebration is based on five periods of African-American life, each represented by a color.