AKRON, Ohio – In the midst of the highly infectious omicron variant of the coronavirus, many Kwanzaa celebrations are being hosted virtually for a second year. The holiday, which commemorates African American culture, began Sunday and continues until the new year, honoring traditions of the Nguzo Saba: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.”I think what the pandemic has done has emphasized and given yet another reason why Kwanzaa is necessary,” said Lathardus Goggins II, education chair for the Akron’s NAACP. “The need for relationships within community and establishing a cultural connection is that much more prevalent.”Canceled: How New Year’s Eve events, Times Square celebration are affected by COVIDExperts say vaccine equity is key: Will children of color get vaccinated at the rates of other kids?Kwanzaa was created in 1966 by Maulana Karenga. Karenga designed the holiday as a way to reaffirm African Americans’ roots in African culture, to have a regular time for Black people to bond, and to introduce the Nguzo Saba, which is Swahili for “seven values,” said Chimbuko Tembo, associate director of the African American Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where Karenga is executive director.The holiday is based on African agricultural celebrations of the first harvest, and Tembo said Swahili was chosen as the language for its terminology

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