There are seven principles of Kwanzaa, but the guests who attended the celebration Dec. 29 at the Harrison Cultural Community Centre, 1922 Hamilton Ave. in Lorain, focused on one: Ujamaa, which is cooperative economics.
The other six principles of Kwanzaa are: Umoja, which is unity; Kujichagulia, which is self-determination; Ujima, which is collective work and responsibility; Nia, which is purpose; Kuumba, which is creativity; and Imani, which is faith.
Kwanzaa takes place from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1.
Joanne Eldridge Tucker, who was mistress of ceremony, engaged the audience to discuss cooperative economics.
Eldridge Tucker recognized Lorain artist Jeff Pye and civil rights activist and clothing designer E. Jean Wrice as entrepreneurs.
“How can we grow more African American businesses in the area, and how can we support them?” Eldridge Tucker asked.
Lorain resident Sally Peoples responded that the community has start supporting Black businesses and that those enterprises must advertise their services.
Pye suggested that the current businesses owned by African Americans must teach others how to go into business.
He said there should be apprenticeships and mentors ready to help others to “pass on the skills that you have.”
Pye also said networking with others is another tool of cooperative economics.
Minister Kenny Dawson, a self-taught musician, who plays keyboards for many church functions in Lorain, said the Black churches should come together to support African American businesses.
People should put aside any differences they have with others and “unify.”
Eldridge Tucker, who started commemorating Kwanzaa in 1977, said it is a celebration of family, community and culture.
She said it’s a fun, festive and positive reinforcement of family.
During the event, Eldridge Tucker set up her Kwanzaa display which included a special candle holder called a kinara.
A kinara holds seven candles, a black candle in the middle, and three red and three green on each side.
Each night during Kwanzaa, a candle is lit.
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