28th Annual Kwanzaa Ceremony

December 31, 2012  |  Uncategorized


As is the tradition at The Schoolhouse, The Alpha 1s lit the first candle during the Kwanzaa ceremony under the able (and experienced) guidance of Nari Penson.  The first candle is the Unity (Umoja) candle and is lit as the students said in unison, “Umoja means Unity.”

The Kwanzaa ceremony marked the end of three weeks of study and preparation to explore aspects of the holiday, of African American culture and of one’s own family stories. Kwanzaa is a non-­religious, non-heroic African American holiday celebrated from December 26 until January 1st.

Resplendent in red, black and green, Schoolhouse students shared traditional songs from the African American tradition – Zoodio,  Ain’t Gonna Let No Body, We Shall Not Be Moved —lit the 7 candles of the Kwanzaa Kinara, and explained (in both song and prose) the 7 Principles of Kwanzaa: Umoja (unity), Kujichagulia (self determination), Ujima (working together), Ujamaa (spending money wisely), Nia (purpose) and Imani (faith).

“I have faith that I will grow up and have a good job and family,” explained Geoffrey DeBrosse (8) of Colchester of the principle Imani (faith).  Of the principle Kujichagulia, Clare Stackpole McGrath (6) of Shelburne declared, “I am determined to do good things in the world and to help people who are fighting stop.”

Alpha 2-Tau students also reflected on African American history and African Americans’ historic contributions.  Julia Cichoskikelly (9) of Hinesburg shared, “Jackie Robinson’s purpose (Nia) was to be able to have African Americans play in the major leagues.”

“George Washington Carver saved his money for 20 years so he could go to college. He started saving when he was 10 years old,” explained Ellis Schek (8)of Milton of the principle of spending one’s money wisely (Ujamaa).

The celebration ended with a feast — the Karamu (community potluck).

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.