• October 25, 2014

Kwanzaa Storytime

Library educates children about week-long holiday

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Friday, December 28, 2012 4:30 am | Updated: 10:41 am, Fri Dec 28, 2012.

HARKER HEIGHTS — Five small children sat on the floor of the public library Thursday morning to learn about Kwanzaa, a week-long holiday that celebrates the seven basic values of African-American people.

Kwanzaa, which began Dec. 26, was developed in 1966 by Maulana Karenga, now chair of California State University Long Beach’s Department of African Studies, according to his website. In Swahili, Kwanzaa means “first fruits.”

Librarian Lisa Youngblood sang, danced and read aloud the book “My First Kwanzaa” by Karen Katz. She also used a felt board to illustrate parts of the story.

“First we get the kinara, it’s made of shiny wood, and I put in seven candles,” she said, pointing out the felt kinara and candles on the board. “We light a candle every night to celebrate a special idea.”

The seven basic principles at the heart of the origin and meaning of Kwanzaa are unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith. During Kwanzaa ceremonies, ears of corn representing each child in a family are placed on traditional straw mats and a feast of harvested goods is served, Youngblood said.

Susan Basantes of Harker Heights clapped and sang along with Youngblood and tried to keep her very busy 14-month-old daughter Sophia focused on the program. They are regulars at the library’s storytime.

“When she was younger, we used to come on Mondays when they have baby lapsit,” she said.

Lucy Abella and her daughter, Cheryl Abella, also were busy corralling 16-month-old Noah as Youngblood read aloud to the group. It was their first visit to the library’s storytime.

When Youngblood finished reading to the group, participants created their own “straw” mats out of construction paper and had a feast of rolls, cookies, fruit and juice.

More about

More about

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
  • 2 Don't Threaten or Abuse. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated. AND PLEASE TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
  • 3 Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
  • 4 Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 5 Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 6 Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Welcome to the discussion.

Featured Events