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Black Student Union to put on annual Kwanzaa celebration

By Julia Wade

Contributing Writer

UNH’s Black Student Union (BSU) is putting on their annual Kwanzaa celebration in the MUB Strafford room on Friday, Dec. 4.

BSU has been sharing this holiday with UNH students since its formation.

The Kwanzaa celebration is the organization’s biggest event of the fall semester.

According to BSU chairs Spencer Littles and Joyce Lekien, they are expecting a turn out of approximately 150 people.

BSU holds the goal to share and teach the students of UNH about the African American heritage, as well as reconnect with their ancestry and cultural routes.

“Kwanzaa is the celebration of where black people have come from and where they are going,” stated Lekien.

“Kwanzaa is remembering the African routes through remembering the values that Kwanzaa represents,” stated secretary of BSU Gabrielle Greaves.

Kwanzaa originated from Dr. Maulana Karenga, a professor and chairman of Black Studies at California State University, Long Beach, in 1966.

Karenga researched African “first fruit” (harvest) celebrations and combined aspects of several different harvest celebrations to gather the principles that make up Kwanzaa. Two examples of harvest celebrations he studied were Ashanti and Zulu.

Karenga developed 7 principles, all of which are represented with their own day during the week. These 7 principles include unity, self-determination, collective work & responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and hope.

The food theme for this year’s event is Caribbean. BSU has ordered catering from D’ Coal Pot, a well-known Boston restaurant which specialty is food from the Trinidadian culture.

With this event, BSU is celebrating the culture and heritage of the African American community in the United States as well across the world.

This year, the organization will be providing a PowerPoint presentation. “We want people to be educated,” said Program Coordinator for BSU Ciara Monteiro, “some people who do not know much about the holiday.”

The student-based organization is providing entertainment for the occasion and have hired the Seacoast Dancers, a drum circle from New Guinea, Africa.

The event is made possible through the Student Activity Fee, and holds a cost of $3 for non-student attendants and is free to any UNH student.

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