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Generations come together for Columbia's annual Kwanzaa celebration

Children sang and danced along to the beat of African drums Saturday in celebration of Kwanzaa. The free event was held at the Progressive Missionary Baptist Church and focused on developing positive families and communities. (Megan Sanchez/KRCG 13)

Children sang and danced along to the beat of African drums Saturday in celebration of Kwanzaa.

The free event was held at the Progressive Missionary Baptist Church and focused on developing positive families and communities.

Though the actual week-long holiday begins Dec. 26, members of the African-American community joined together in song, dance and food and have been doing so in Columbia since 1993.

Beginning with a business expo centered around African-American owned businesses, the event continued with entertainment and a candle-lighting ceremony. Seven candles representing unity, self determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith were lit with an explanation of what each principle means to the community.

"The singing I really really really liked it," 9-year-old Benjamin Webster said. "It's like birthdays or Christmas carols. It's fun to sing, but it's also for a tradition."

The event harmonized Kwanzaa tradition with present-day practice as children were dressed in both traditional wear and casual clothes. The emphasis was on the next generation and the importance of passing on the practice.

"I learned about Kwanzaa," Webster said. "It goes on for seven days. You get presents like Christmas only they're usually for your mind or your soul."

"I loved it, it was fun."








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