While the first night of Macons annual Kwanzaa celebration is always popular, the second night is often the best attended.
Taking place at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Douglass Theatre, youth night celebrates the principle of self-determination, or Kujichagulia.
Its an open mic opportunity for youth to learn to express themselves and have the freedom to be themselves, organizer George Muhammad said. We guide them to have a program free of profanity and disrespect for themselves and females, and to present the best of themselves and let that become a habit.
The program will include instrumental solos, singing, break dancing, hip-hop, poetry and martial arts.
The youth really love it. The program certainly has the highest spirit of the week, Muhammad said.
Other principles celebrated and the events scheduled for the 21st Kwanzaa series are as follows:
UMOJA: 7 p.m. Wednesday, Douglass Theatre, 355 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.: Traditional Kwanzaa ceremony, storytelling, drum circle, African dance, puppetry, live music and more. Muhammad said the program also will include film excerpts and the recognition of local officials who have supported Macons Kwanzaa and Juneteenth celebrations.
UJIMA: Dec. 28: A day of service and community outreach. Participants will demonstrate five areas of service community members should be doing every day, visiting jails, performing neighborhood cleanup at 10 a.m. on Pansy Avenue, completing a home improvement project for someone in need, visiting the elderly in nursing homes and feeding the hungry. An evening celebration is still being planned.
UJAMAA: Dec. 29: Economic Unity Day for black economic empowerment. People are urged to support black businesses, which are a starving breed for a lot of reasons, Muhammad said. We can bring more to the table if we can be more economically strong. An evening program is being planned to help participants develop an economic plan for 2013.
NIA: 5 p.m. Dec. 30, Tubman African American Museum, 340 Walnut St.: A night of purpose with the theme The Universal Connection. A documentary dealing with black Bedouins and slavery in the Middle East will be shown during the day, and the evening program will include spoken word by the poet Queen Sheba, live music and visual arts. Tickets are $5 in advance and $7 at the door; proceeds support the annual events hosted by the Kwanzaa Cultural Access Center and Torchlight Academy.
KUUMBA: 5 p.m. Dec. 31: Community Karamu at Homeland Village, 2910 Napier Ave. This event will feature a feast of healthy food and drink, as well as the screening of a Bob Marley documentary. Everyone is asked to bring a healthy dish to share. We want to encourage good health for an abundant life, a healthy lifestyle in mind, body and soul, Muhammad said.
IMANI: Jan. 1: Muhammad said people are encouraged to celebrate Kwanzaa at home with their families and remember their ancestors. We should think about our debt of gratitude for what they went through on our behalf, so that we could lead great lives, he said. We are obliged to do all that we can to leave our community better than we found it.
For more information about local Kwanzaa events, visit the Kwanzaa Cultural Access Centers page on Facebook.