Kwanzaa is an African American and Pan-African holiday that celebrates concepts like history, values, family, community, and of course, culture, that was first started in 1966 by Maulana Ron Karenga. Today, millions of people across the world celebrate the seven principles of Kwanzaa by lighting the seven-candled Kinara, in which each candle represents one of the seven principles and is lit on a different day. Kwanzaa begins on December 26th and continues for seven days, ending on January 1st.
If you’re hoping to celebrate Kwanzaa in Detroit this year, then we hope that you find this guide helpful!
Attend the second annual Motor City Kwanzaa Kinara lighting at Campus Martius Park
On December 26th, the first day of Kwanzaa, you can attend the Motor City Kwanzaa Celebration and Kinara Lighting in Downtown Detroit! The ceremony will take place on Tuesday, December 26th from 3 pm until 5:30 pm and will feature traditional festivities, live performances, and more. The 30-foot-tall Kinara is a testament to Detroit’s strong ties to African American culture and its lighting kicks off the first day of celebrating the seven principles of Kwanzaa!
The event will be supported by several local businesses and in part by The Detroit Pistons, McDonald’s, The Michigan Arts & Culture Council, The Knight Foundation, and The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.
Visit The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History to experience Kwanzaa like never before
Once again, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History is hosting a series of educational and interactive programs for groups of all ages that discuss the seven principles of Kwanzaa to educate anybody interested in participating and learning about the holiday and its significance. Each day at unique times the museum will feature different speakers and events that will focus on the specific principle of Kwanzaa dedicated to that day, events range from spoken language storytelling to kid-friendly experiences like the screening of films with strong afro-futurist influence, like Black Panther.
You can check the museum’s website (linked above) to see the specific events for each day of Kwanzaa, and if you are planning to visit the museum you can find it at 315 E. Warren Ave!
Shop at one of Detroit’s local black-owned businesses
Diversity is one of Detroit´s greatest attributes, and during Kwanzaa taking the time to reflect and support local black-owned businesses is a great way to celebrate Kwanzaa. While many local small businesses are black-owned and operated in Detroit, one such example of a local Detroit black-owned small business dedicated entirely to Kwanzaa is KwanzaaMe. The business, dedicated to supplying families around the country with the supplies they need to properly celebrate the holiday, aims to give back not only to the local community but to the national black community as a whole.
Above all else, even if you can’t make it to any of these events listed above this year, the Secret Detroit team wants to wish you a happy Kwanzaa and a great start to the new year!