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Today marks the beginning of Kwanzaa, an African American and Pan-African holiday celebrating family, community and culture around the world.

The seven-day cultural festival was created in 1966 by Maulana Karenga, a professor of Africana studies and is today celebrated by millions throughout the world.

During the holiday, families and communities organize activities around the Nguzo Saba (The Seven Principles): Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (Self-Determination), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity) and lmani (Faith). Participants also celebrate with feasts (karamu), music, dance, poetry, narratives and end the holiday with a day dedicated to reflection and recommitment to The Seven Principles and other central cultural values.

The Riverhead-based African American Educational & Cultural Festival will host its Second Annual Virtual Spirit of Kwanzaa Celebration: Seven days and Seven Principles Dec. 26-Jan. 1.

The AAECF program will stream live on Vimeo every evening at 7 p.m. Click here to watch.

The organization is collecting food and monetary donations for its “Blessing in the Box” food and clothing distribution. Click here to donate.

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