It’s Kwanzaa Time in Los Angeles
Los Angeles-Kwanzaa Heritage Foundation presented the annual Kwanzaa Heritage Festival and Parade on Saturday, December 27, 2008. The celebration was held on the second day of Kwanzaa-Kujichagulia (self-determination). This year’s theme was “Now Is The Time.”
The celebration kicked off with a parade. The parade started at Rodeo Road and Crenshaw Blvd. and continued down Crenshaw to Leimert Park Village. The parade consisted of high school marching bands, drill teams, line dancers, equestrian unit and the Buffalo Soldiers as well as Kwanzaa King-Troy Bennett and Kwanzaa Queen-Dominique Reed.
The festival continued in Leimert Park Village with live music, a drum circle, children’s village (jumpers, pony rides, petting zoo and face paintings). Additional features of the festival consisted of an International Food Court and Kwanzaa Marketplace. The Kwanzaa King and Queen presided over the candle lighting ceremony.
The crowd was continuously entertained by various performers. One performer stood out in particular. Steel Bill is a year old rapper with positive upbeat lyrics. This amazing young man currently has three CD’s out and is currently working on a fourth to be release next month. Steel Bill has the cool, calm, and confident stage presence of a seasoned professional. You can also Steel Bill in the ring honing his boxing skills. Hint, the name Steel Bill who is a hard hitter and counts boxing legend Muhammad Ali as his idol. Steel Bill is also an honor student having won several awards and scholarships in math. He also loves to read. The fourth CD will be entitled “The Clamp”, scheduled to be released in January 2009. Like most artist, you can find out more information about Steel Bill’s music and life at www.myspace.com/steelybilly or do a google search of Steel Bill.
Kwanzaa is an African American and pan African cultural holiday that spans seven days, from December 26 thru January 1. Kwanzaa was founded in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga. Each day of Kwanzaa is devoted to one of the Seven Principles, known in Kiswahili as the “Nguzo Saba.” The Seven Principles are: Umoja-Unity, Kujichagulia-Self Determination, Ujima-collective Work and Responsibility, Ujamaa-Cooperative Economics, Nia-Purpose, Kuumba-Creativity, and Imani-Faith. These guiding principles provide a foundation for spiritual, economic, and cultural growth and development. Kwanzaa establishes a cultural tradition for African American families and communities to share their African Heritage in a multi-cultural world.
World class djembe player Leon Mobley held a Kwanzaa celebration, December 27, in Leimert Park Village at Kaos Network. There was a drum giveaway and a performance by Leon Mobley and his group DA Lion to showcase material from their latest CD DA Lion Roars.
Kwanzaa-Ujima Celebration was held at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, December 28, in Leimert Park Village. The event consisted of African drumming, dancing, songs, narratives and more.