People’s Organization For Progress Holding Kawanzaa Program Thursday

People’s Organization For Progress (POP) will have it’s annual Kawanzaa program on Thursday
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Photos: Dr. Maulana Karenga\POP

The People’s Organization For Progress (POP) will have it’s annual Kawanzaa program on Thursday, December 30, 2021 at 7pm. It will be a virtual program and will broadcast on Facebook.

“Kwanzaa is is a non-religious, non-sectarian, African-American cultural celebration that takes place over seven days from December 26th to January 1st. POP has been celebrating Kwanzaa for many years,” stated Lawrence Hamm, Chairman, People’s Organization For Progress.

It was founded by Dr. Maulana Karenga, leader of the US organization based in Los Angeles, and was first celebrated in 1966.

Kwanzaa is centered around the observance of the Nguzo Saba, a Swahili term for seven principles, for collective social development and transformation.

Those principles are Umoja (unity), Kujichagulia (self-determination), Ujima (collective work and responsibility), Ujamaa (cooperative economics), Nia (purpose), Kuumba (creativity), and Imani (faith).

On each day of Kwanzaa one of the seven principles is focused upon. “On the day of the POP Kwanzaa celebration the principle of Nia (purpose) will be highlighted,” Hamm said.

The late poet, playwright, and activist Amiri Baraka and his organization Committee for a Unified Newark (CFUN), was key to Kwanzaa’s growth on the east coast when he brought the observance here in late 1960s.

“I observed Kwanzaa for the first at a celebration held By Amiri Baraka and his organization in December of 1971. That was fifty years ago,” Hamm said.

The POP celebration will include the Kwanzaa candle lighting ceremony, poetry, music, and other cultural and historical presentation.

Aminifu Williams, who had been a member of the US organization and was present at the first Kwanza celebration will be spotlighted at the celebration.

Williams who died earlier this year came to New Jersey in 1970. “Aminifu was a member for many years of both the REFAL and POP organizations and played a leading role in their Kwanzaa observances,” he said.

The case of police brutality victim Jerome Reid will also be discussed at the celebration.

Thursday will mark the seventh anniversary of his death when he was shot and killed by a police officer in Bridgeton, NJ. His mother Shelia Reid will discuss her son’s case.

For more information about the program contact the People’s Organization For Progress at 973 801-0001.

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