YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – The first night of Kwanzaa was celebrated by a packed house at Youngstown’s New Bethel Baptist Church Thursday night.
Kwanzaa is a celebration of family and community, and honors African American culture.
The youth group Harambee played a major role in the event, dancing and playing the drums.
Youngstown’s own Dr. Ron Daniels was Thursday night’s keynote speaker.
“You saw all of our magnificent dancers and that’s important because we need to embrace our culture,” he said. “But we want to embrace not just the cosmetics of it, we want to embrace it in terms of the essence of it.”
The first night of Kwanzaa is known as Umoja, which stands for unity.
Kwanzaa is observed from December 26 to January 1, ending with gift-giving and a feast.