Kwanzaa begins this Saturday, December 26: Join FJT for the unveiling of a new Kwanzaa display.

At 11 a.m. this Saturday, December 26, the City of Evanston and Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre will celebrate Kwanzaa with the unveiling of the newly commissioned outdoor Kwanzaa display at Fountain Square. The display was created by artist Eric Beauchamp whose BeauBois Studios are located at the Noyes Cultural Arts Center.


Dear Evanston will stream the 15-minute unveiling ceremony live.

This year, the Kwanzaa principle Umoja, which means Unity, is the community rallying call and all Evanston residents are encouraged to stop by Fountain Square during the seven days of Kwanzaa to see the new display.


Know before you go:


Kwanzaa is a week-long annual celebration to honor African heritage in African American culture. It's observed from December 26 to January 1, culminating in gift-giving and a feast. Kwanzaa has seven core principles (Nguzo Saba). It was created by Dr. Maulana Karenga, Professor and Chair of Africana Studies, California State University-Long Beach, and was first celebrated in 1966.


Kwanzaa's seven principles are: Umoja, unity; Kujichagulia, self-determination; Ujima, collective work and responsibility; Ujamaa, cooperative economics; Nia, purpose; Kuumba, creativity; and Imani, faith. The lighting of a candle on the Kinara each night of Kwanzaa symbolizes each principle.

Greetings during Kwanzaa are in Swahili. Swahili is a Pan-African language and reflects African Americans' commitment to the whole of Africa and African culture rather than to a specific ethnic or national group or culture.


The greeting for each day of Kwanzaa is "Habari Gani?", which is Swahili for "How are you?"


For a taste of Kwanzaa's past in Evanston, which are always full of music, joy, tradition, and culture, go to:


Kwanzaa 2019

Kwanzaa 2018



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