BCRI to Host Kwanzaa Celebration with Free Books and Return of Community Reading Program

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute will hand out free books this Saturday as part of an early celebration of Kwanzaa – an event that will also mark the return of its literacy program, Community of Readers.

The mission of the BCRI Readers’ Community Program is to bridge the literacy gap by helping families teach children how to develop better reading habits and by encouraging parents to believe in their role as educational mentors. The program also helps families use reading as a way to spend time together.

On Saturday, December 18, BCRI will host a community event on the history and etymology of Kwanzaa with hot drinks, crafts, and a reading with free copies of “My First Kwanzaa” by Karen Katz and “Seven Spools of Thread” by Angela Shelf Medearis. The event, free and open to the public, will take place from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

“All are invited to come and discover the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa, or Nguzo Saba – the Seven Principles of African Heritage,” BCRI noted in a description of the event. “We will observe the traditions of Kwanzaa music and dance, make musical instruments and offer free books on Kwanzaa [in] party for you [to] bring home and pass on to loved ones for generations.

An annual celebration of American-American culture, Kwanzaa takes place from December 26 to January 1, culminating in a communal holiday called Karamu, which usually takes place on the 6th day. Founded in 1966 by professor and activist Maluna Karenga, the celebration is based on harvest festival traditions from various parts of Africa. The symbols and traditions of Kwanzaa were established to help African Americans reconnect with their African ancestry and heritage.

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