Kwanzaa celebration helps kids ‘reconnect’



With zestful enthusiasm, young people from the African Canadian Heritage Association (ACHA) and their hosts, the Africentric Alternative School, participated in the annual Kwanzaa show last Saturday.

The children took part in drumming, a Kwanzaa feast and workshops of their choice to mark the celebration which was started as a means to help Blacks reconnect with their African cultural and historical heritage.

This is the second year the event has been held at the Africentric School.

“We are doing it here to show support,” said long-time ACHA volunteer, Louis March. “This is a community school and their success is ours, so we have to work together. When we combine and collaborate with instruments like the Africentric School and the African Heritage Educational Network (which) we are working with this year, it adds a lot more power to what we are trying to accomplish.”

March said it’s important that young people grasp the significance of Kwanzaa.

“It’s a way of life encompassing family, community, entrepreneurship, faith, creativity and self-determination which is what is the backbone of the ACHA,” he said. “At this time of the year when some people question the commercial value of Christmas, they can gravitate to something that is more human, family-oriented and community-driven, which is what Kwanzaa is all about. Kwanzaa’s principles are relevant, not only to our community, but the wider society.

“This is an excellent opportunity for us to showcase Kwanzaa in its true context and the celebration gives us a chance to close off the year on a positive note.”

Africentric School principal, Thando Hyman-Aman, said her school was privileged to collaborate with the ACHA for the celebration.

“This organization has been around for over 40 years, so they have a track record and they are a mainstay in our community,” she said.

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