The holidays are a time for celebrating with family, friends, and the community. On Tuesday, December 13, we hosted the second annual Kwanzaa celebration at the South Shore YMCA Germantown Neighborhood Center in Quincy. Over 70 families gathered to enjoy authentic Kwanzaa dishes from local businesses, kids Kwanzaa activities, live music, and spoken word performances.
The beauty of this event is that it is driven by neighbors and volunteers. “It was refreshing and exciting to bring our Germantown community together and celebrate, we already can’t wait until next year,” shared Shareca Branford, a longtime volunteer, and resident of Germantown who coordinated the event. Shareca is an avid crafter; she brought her Cricut die-cutting machine and made custom Kwanzaa t-shirts and decorations for guests.
Kwanzaa is a weeklong celebration of African cultural roots, family, and community from December 26-January 1. The word Kwanzaa means “first fruits of the harvest” in Swahili. The seven core principles of Kwanzaa, known as Nguzo Saba, reflect many of our own values at the South Shore YMCA; Umoja (unity), Kujichagulia (self-determination), Ujima (collective work and responsibility), Ujamaa (cooperative economics), Nia (purpose), Kuumba (creativity), Imani (faith).
Kwanzaa is a holiday that brings the community together in a unique way to celebrate our cultural diversity and the values that unite us. Our Kwanzaa celebration was a night full of cultural celebration, family, and fun. We were even joined by community partners, like Manet Community Health Center and the Quincy Family Resource Center, who shared resources with our neighbors.
From our South Shore Y family to yours, we wish everyone in the community a Happy Kwanzaa and a happy holiday season. Check out the video below to see pictures from our Kwanzaa celebration.