Newark Celebrates Kwanzaa with Tributes to Nelson Mandela

by Kofi Ayim

The City of Newark, NJ celebrated last month’s Kwanzaa on the 2nd day of the festival in pomp. The celebration, held at the Rotunda of Newark City Hall paid a special and glowing tribute to Nelson Mandela.
In a brief speech Newark City Mayor Luis Quintana said that the mosaic nature of the city encourages diversity. He therefore urged residents to come together to build and celebrate Newark. “As we light the seven candles to represent the seven principles of Kwanzaa, we must remember that some parts of the city need some lights too, some places are dark”, he philosophized, in apparent reference to increased homicide in the city since 2006.”  The Mayor called for a moment of silence in honor of Madiba Nelson Mandela. He urged all to follow the deeds of Nelson Mandela and be prepared to forgive oppresors and suppressors. He said Africa gave us a king in the person of Nelson Mandela.
Tributes and dedications to Nelson Mandela were given by Patience Edremoda, a Nigerian journalist who had the opportunity to interview Nelson Mandela in Nigeria, and Balozi Harvey, a community icon who was the protocol officer during Mandela’s visit to the City of New York, when David Dinkins was Mayor. Fanzy composed and sang a special tribute on the djembe drum. Other speakers included Newark City Council President Mildred Crump (aka Mama Africa), Council members Ras J. Baraka and Anibal Ramos Jr, as well as Barbara King, co-chair of Newark International Inc.
Kwanzaa was created by Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1966 as a seven-day celebration of African American and Pan-African holiday that starts December 26. The Seven principles (Nguzo Saba) are: Umoja (Unity),Kujichagulia (self- determination), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility),Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity) and Imani(Faith).
The event was organized by the Newark Municipal Council in collaboration with the Mayor’s African Commission and the Department of Neighborhood and Recreational Services.

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Posted by on Jan 25 2014. Filed under Artcultainment. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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