The common thread that ran through the fabric of the Sunday evening, Dec. 11, pre-Kwanzaa celebration at the American Legion Hall in Brooklyn was unity, and it showed, with the remarkable presentation that celebrated family, community, culture and the history of African people, themed ‘Kuumba.’
The first event hosted by the Queenstown, Essequibo New York Association, a Guyanese organization, showcased elements of the African people, that Guyanese-born Kimani Nehusi said have been in existence for a very long time.
In his presentation on the significance and continuing relevance of libation, professor of African history and Ancient Egyptian languages at Temple University, Kimani Nehusi, in chronicling the lives of Africans said that they lived in many places of the world and created variations and reinterpretation of their existence.
“Where ever African people are ‘we really celebrate our culture and principles, so we are all united. Our challenge in the world today is to rediscover ourselves to perpetuate unity and prosperity.”
Basir Mchawi’s Sankofa, Kwanzaa and Diaspora, called on the community to be unified in its struggle to build its culture, as he explained the principles of Kwanzaa which are organized around five fundamental activities.
They are: The gathering of family, friends, and community; Reverence for the Creator and creation; Commemoration of the past, recommitment to the highest cultural ideas of Afrikan community; and Celebration of the Good of Life.
The cultural evening opened with the pouring of libation by African drummer, Mboya Wood, before folklorist and author Roy Brummel brought nostalgia to the festivities with his rousing “Nancy Stories.”
Little Dakarai Drakes’ saxophone rendition of Bob Marley’s “One Love,” cemented the evening’ tribute to the African culture and the ancestors who Mboya Wood said, must be given respect for the ground work they did so that others could follow.
In addition to Guyanese food and drink, nationals danced to the African drums of the Buxton Drumming Corps and committed themselves to unity and culture.
“The Legend,” by Eusi Kwayana, Libation by Kimani S. K Nehusi and “Know Thyself A-Z” by Eric. M. Phillips, books on African culture and history were on exhibibition, and are available for sale by contacting the organization.
Organizers, Arnold “AB” Drakes, Harold Stephney, Neil Grant, Bernard Kilkenny and Evo Benjamin thanked the Caribbean audience for their participation and wished them a ‘Happy Kwanzaa.’