Miami-Dade County

South Florida celebrates the principles of Kwanzaa with song and dance

Delou Africa performs at the 2014 Kwanzaa celebration.
Delou Africa performs at the 2014 Kwanzaa celebration.

When Delou Africa, a traditional drumming and dancing group, takes the stage Sunday at the Little Haiti Cultural Center, members will focus on the principle of Kujichagulia or self-determination.

That’s because it’s the second day of Kwanzaa — which translates from Swahili to “first fruits of the harvest” and each day centers around a different principle.

“Self-determination is very important because without believing in yourself you won’t get very far,” said Njeri Plato, the founder and director of the nonprofit group that performs throughout the year.

Kwanzaa, which begins Saturday, grew out of the civil-rights and black nationalist movements of the 1960s. Plato said the holiday is chance to connect with culture and highlight important traits.

Other principles include Umoja or Unity; Ujima or Collective Work and Responsibility; Ujamaa or cooperative economics; Nia or purpose; Kuumba or creativity and Imani or faith.

The annual Kwanzaa Concert and Celebration, one of several events in South Florida, will include performances by Delou Africa, Sons of Mystro and spoken-word artists. King Kevin Dorival, an author, historian and motivational speaker, will talk about self-determination.

Plato said the event is a way to bring the community together.

“This a festival celebrating cultural and who we are,” she said. “We want to share that with everyone.”

Celebrate Kwanzaa

Here is a sampling of South Florida events:

▪ Kwanzaa in the Gardens: Miami Gardens will host A Kwanzaa Experience 2015 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Saturday at the Betty T. Ferguson Recreational Complex Auditorium, 3000 NW 199th Street. For information, call 786-237-5079.

▪ Delou Africa annual Kwanzaa Concert and Celebration will be held from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex, 212 NE 59th Terr. For information, call 305-978-3866.

▪ Kwanzaa celebration: The City of Fort Lauderdale Parks & Recreation Department will hold a celebration on the fifth day of the holiday, which centers around Nia or purpose. The event will run from 2 to 5 p.m. Wednesday at Bass Park, 2750 NW 19th St., Fort Lauderdale. For more information, call 954-828-PARK.

▪ 26th annual Mary Williams Woodard Legacy Kwanzaa Celebration: Presented by the Miami-Dade Chapter of the Florida A&M University National Alumni Association and Community Builders Holistic Development Corporation, the event will be held 4 p.m. Saturday at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center, 6161 NW 22nd Ave.

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