First grade students at Sunview Elementary had the opportunity to learn more about Kwanzaa, the only African-American holiday which celebrates African-Americans and their contributions to society, through an engaging and interactive presentation in the gym on Thursday, December 19th. The presentation was organized and led by family members of Sunview first grader Hasir McMillian. Hasir’s family regularly delivers presentations throughout the local area regarding the celebration of Kwanzaa. The morning presentation began with the first grade students and their teachers entering the gym to rhythmic music, while being led in a National African-American Folk Dance March around the gym before taking their seats. During the entrance march around the gym, many of the students held symbols used during the celebration of Kwanzaa, including the Bendera, or flag which features the colors of red, green and black, as well as the Mishumaa Saba, or seven candles which represent the seven universal principles which Kwanzaa celebrates. Those principles are unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.
Kwanzaa is a seven-day celebration that lasts from December 26th through January 1st, which culminates in a feast on the last day. During the presentation, students brought up examples of traditional Kwanzaa feast table settings, including the kinara, or candleholder which symbolizes African roots, as well as corn which represents children and how they are the key to the future. The Kwanzaa presentation ended as it began, as the students performed a final folk dance march around the gym, having gained a greater understanding of Kwanzaa and a fuller appreciation for different cultures around the world.
Principal Arika Taylor and the first graders at Sunview Elementary wish to thank Keesha McMillian, Frank Ross and others who helped to make the presentation a success!