Dr. Gilo Logan explains the seven principles of Kwanzaa at the 2019 Kwanzaa Celebration held at Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center. Photo by Heidi Randhava

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The community sharing of seasonal celebrations continues with a series of virtual events to celebrate Kwanzaa. Dec. 26 marks the first day of the annual African-American and Pan-African holiday, which honors family, culture, and fellowship.

The City of Evanston and Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre will begin this year’s Kwanzaa celebration with the unveiling of the new outdoor Kwanzaa display in Fountain Square on Dec. 26 at 11 a.m. The display was created by Evanston-based artist Eric Beauchamp. The 15-minute event will be live-streamed so that community members can enjoy it from their homes at facebook.com/dearevanston

Also on Dec. 26, from 12 to 1 p.m., Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre will host Evanston’s Virtual Kwanzaa Celebration. The theme of this special event is Umoja (unity), the first of the seven principles of Kwanzaa. Community members are invited to celebrate with Gilo and Miah Logan and get in the spirit of the season with SOUL Creations’ African drumming, musical selections by Anita Baker, Felicia Patton, and Nuwki Nu.

Another highlight of the festival is a spoken word performance by Liana Wallace, accompanied by dancer Kara Roseborough. Ms. Wallace’s carefully crafted words, delivered with unflinching honesty, captivate audiences. She shared some thoughts about her performance with the RoundTable.

“This year has been relentless in many ways and for me spoken word has always been a means through which I could describe the world and the complexities that exist within it. I hope that my words provide both truth and a sense of reflection for the Evanston Annual Kwanzaa Celebration 2020. We have all been through so much, and I hope I was able to provide even just a moment of healing if nothing else through my piece,” said Ms. Wallace.

In addition to musical, dance, poetry, and drumming, the virtual celebration showcases the activities at the center of Evanston’s past Kwanzaa celebrations, including the tradition of recognizing Evanston’s Black elders for their many years of contributing to the community, reciting of the seven principles of Kwanzaa, the kinara-lighting ceremony, and an arts and crafts demonstration.

The celebration continues from Dec. 27 to Jan. 1. Each day, a different Evanston family will present one of the six remaining Kwanzaa principles for viewers to learn about and enjoy. These special segments will be broadcast throughout each day.

Community members can watch the celebration on Dec. 26 at noon on Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre’s Youtube Channel and Facebook.

Heidi Randhava

Heidi Randhava is an award winning reporter who has a deep commitment to community engagement and service. She has written for the Evanston RoundTable since 2016.