UT’s Black Cultural Programming Committee celebrated Kwanzaa this year with special focus on the past year’s celebration of fifty years of African American achievement on campus.
The celebration was held November 28, featuring remarks by Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek and ceremonial presentations by students of various cultures on campus.
Kwanzaa is a week-long celebration that traditionally runs from December 26 through January 1. The holiday was created in the United States with the purpose of honoring and celebrating African American heritage, unity, and culture. Kwanzaa was first celebrated in 1966 and was created by Maulana Karenga. The name Kwanzaa stems from the Swahili phrase “matunda ya kwanza,” which means “the first fruits of harvest.” Kwanzaa celebrations typically consist of a candle-lighting ceremony, a feast, and gift giving.