Kwanzaa celebrates African American culture from December 26 to January 1

Kwanzaa’s Great Columbus community celebration is moving this year from the King Arts Complex, which is undergoing renovations, to the Ohio History Center.

The seven-day celebration will begin on December 26. The local event will run from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. each day and is a joint effort between the Ohio History Connection and Tawi Family Village.

“Tawi Family Village has had a citywide Kwanzaa event for many years,” said Lyn Logan-Grimes, African American history experience developer at the Ohio History Connection. “So I approached them this year to host it here at the Ohio History Connection, which is a first for us. It’s really exciting.

One of the main organizers of the event is Phyllis Ransom, who holds the eldest position with Tawi Family Village.

“This is the time of year to look at the harvest we have had as a community and to celebrate all the good things that have happened and use the bad things to help us plan for the year ahead. Everyone comes together and have a good time celebrating each other, ”she said.

Each day of the event celebrates a different principle.

The first day, for example, honors unity (“Umoja”, in Swahili) and the second day honors self-determination (“Kujichagulia”).

“Each day will be rich in visual and performing arts,” said Logan-Grimes. “Each day will begin with a procession of elders drumming and a libation and candle-lighting ceremony, and will also end with a circle of drums.”

This year’s event will be spread across the Ohio History Center.

“It’s a huge space, so this year we will have several things to do at the same time. We haven’t been able to do this before, ”Ransom said. “We are excited to see how this will work, and we hope it will work well for us.”

Large-scale performances will take place on the auditorium stage, and a “red carpet” area will provide space for other performances.

the West African dance company Thiossane will present the West African dance on December 26, Bankema dancers will highlight Ugandan traditions on December 27 and participants of the Caribbean Festival will perform dances from several Caribbean islands on December 28.

The storytellers, or “griots”, will have their own corner, and there will be an area where children can do crafts, make bracelets, greeting cards and wrapping paper.

The Maroon Arts Group will sponsor an oral history booth, “Deliver Black Dreams”.

“It’s a booth where kids or adults can come in and talk about their dreams, which will be recorded,” Ransom said.

Kwanzaa a celebration of family, community and culture

The Maroon Arts Group will also sponsor “Pitch Black” on December 29th.

There, “African Americans can come and present their business concepts, and a panel will be there to discuss what they are presenting. Whoever is chosen will get funds to promote their product, ”Ransom said.

The African-American Museum will host a pop-up exhibit and Suge’s Smoke House Catering will be on-site with a barbecue.

Local traders will set up on the second floor of the center.

Guests are welcome to come and go as they please throughout the free event.

“We know people tend to leave after great performances, so we were wise and held them until the end of the night,” Ransom said.

“It will be fun and exciting,” Ransom said. “We just hope people come in and have a good time, learn a little more about Kwanzaa and its importance, and help us celebrate.”

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In short :

Kwanzaa will be celebrated from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. daily from December 26 to January 1 at the Ohio History Center, Interstate 71 and East 17th Avenue. Masks required. Free entry. 614-297-2300,

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