KILLEEN, Texas — Thursday was the fifth day of Kwanzaa; a week-long holiday celebrated every year in the United States to honor African American history and culture.
Unity, Self-determination, Collective Work and Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativity and Faith are the seven principles of Kwanzaa.
“Today we are going to be celebrating Nia which means purpose in Swahili. The Kwanzaa celebration begins on the 26th of December and goes to the first of January," said Ron Jupiter.
Jupiter is a member of the Songhai Bamboo Roots Association. The group hosted its 9th annual Kwanzaa celebration at the Killeen Civic and Conference Center. The public was invited to learn about the history, as well as listen to storytelling, poetry, and music.
Killeen Independent School District student Xylia Golden said there is one special person who has helped her understand the holiday.
"my grandma. she shows me new things all the time. and she lets me know it is important to know your culture and where you come from," said Golden.
Kwanzaa was created in the 1960s. The primary symbols are these seven candles. Red represents the struggle. Green represents the land and hope for the future. One of the candles is black, which represents people of African descent.
"So, Kwanzaa is not a religious holiday. It is a cultural holiday where we celebrate and remember where we came from and where we are going," said Jupiter.