Kwanzaa in Southern Illinois


For some people the holidays are over, but the celebration of Kwanzaa is still going strong. It began on December 26, and will continue on to the New Year. This culturally-rich holiday is being showcased at the African American Museum of Southern Illinois in Carbondale. Najjar Abdul-Musawwir, vise-president for the museum, and a professor at SIU, says that each day of Kwanzaa focuses on the seven principles that emphasize family, community, and culture. Each day has a significant purpose for those that participate to focus on during the celebration: Unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith. The museum has a display depicting the history of Kwanzaa, as well as some of the traditions of the holiday, including the Kwanzaa Candle, which is lit every day until the end of the celebration.