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Community celebration of Kwanzaa continues at Tyler Public Library

The African-American Cultural Events Committee returned to Taylor Auditorium starting the day after Christmas for its annual Kwanzaa community celebration.
Credit: Zak Wellerman - Tyler Morning Telegraph
McKynzi Givens lights one of the candles on the "kinara" (the candle holder for Kwanzaa) representing the seven principles of the holiday.

TYLER, Texas — Continuing the celebration of Kwanzaa, a group of Tyler-area community members came together Tuesday evening at the Tyler Public Library to honor the heritage and culture of African ancestry.

The African-American Cultural Events Committee returned to Taylor Auditorium starting the day after Christmas for its annual Kwanzaa community celebration. The group didn't host the event last year due to COVID-19 concerns.

Kwanzaa is celebrated annually by African Americans and those of African descent for seven days to honor their heritage. From Dec. 26 to Jan. 1, the holiday honors seven principles.

Seven candles are held by a kinara (the candle holder for Kwanzaa) for each day. These principles include umoja (unity), kujichagulia (self-determination), ujima (collective work and responsibility), ujamaa (cooperative economics), nia (purpose), kuumba (creativity) and imani (faith).

Gregory Buckner of the African American Cultural Events Committee said this year's theme is "Practicing Kwanzaa and the Seven Principles: Ensuring the Well-Being of the World."

"What we're doing is ensuring the well-being of the world. Not only in Tyler but the whole nation together," he said.

Each night, attendees will sing “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” which is often considered the Black national anthem. Those at the event will also honor their ancestors.

Read more from our newspaper partners, the Tyler Morning Telegraph.