Creator of Kwanzaa to speak at 32nd Annual Capital City Kwanzaa Festival Dec. 30

12/23/2021, 6 p.m.
Dr. Maulana Karenga was just 24 when he launched the Kwanzaa holiday in 1966 to enable Black communities in this ...
Dr. Karenga

Dr. Maulana Karenga was just 24 when he launched the Kwanzaa holiday in 1966 to enable Black communities in this country and worldwide to celebrate their African heritage.

Now 80 and still going strong as a professor and chairman of the Africana Studies Department at California State University-Long Beach, Dr. Karenga is headed to Richmond to take part in the area’s largest celebration of the seven-day, pan-African holiday.

Dr. Karenga is to deliver the keynote address at the 32nd Annual Capital City Kwanzaa Festival, which will be held 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 30, at the Greater Richmond Convention Center’s Exhibit Hall B, 5th and Marshall streets, it has been announced.

This year’s theme: “Limitless Joy.”

Held virtually last year, the festival is returning to an in-person format.

This event allows people “to take a moment to reflect on the accomplishments of the year and to project new growth,” according to Janine Y. Bell, founder and artistic director of the Elegba Folklore Society, which has sponsored the festival since 1990.

Dr. Karenga’s talk at 8:30 p.m., Ms. Bell stated, will be among the highlights of a program that also will feature the Afro-Cuban-Caribbean sounds of Kevin Davis & BanCaribe, the dancing of Brown Ballerinas for Change and the Elegba Folklore Society and the funky jazz of Plunky and Oneness.

The event also will have an African market with food, art, jewelry, clothing, natural body care items, books and handcrafted and imported items; activities for children, including art making and cultural lessons; and workshops for families on African af- fairs, culturally responsive education, health alternatives, strengthening families and communities, personal finances for teens and other matters, Ms. Bell stated.

Tickets to the event are $6 in advance for those 12 and older and $7 at the door, with a $1 discount for middle- and high- school students and seniors 65 and older. Children under 12 are free.

Tickets may be purchased in advance at Elegba Folklore Society’s Cultural Center, 101 E. Broad St., or at http://efsinc.org.

Elegba hosts the event with support from the City of Richmond and the city Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities, the Richmond Memorial Health Foundation, Dominion Energy, Wells Fargo, CultureWorks and the Arts & Cultural Funding Consortium and CBS6, Ms. Bell stated.

Details: Elegba Folklore Society, efsinc. org or (804) 644-3900.