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Kwanzaa celebration set for Sunday

Special to The Miami Herald

African American culture will be celebrated in South Florida this weekend.

Florida A&M University’s National Alumni Association along with the Community Builders Holistic Development Corp. will host the 21st annual Mary Williams Woodard Legacy Kwanzaa Celebration from 4 to 7 p.m. at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center, 6161 NW 22nd Ave., in Liberty City, on Sunday. The event is free.

The holiday affair will help the community understand “the importance of celebrating faith, family and culture along with continuing the legacy and vision Mary Williams Woodard bestowed on this event each year,” Romania Wilson, president of the Miami-Dade chapter of FAMU’s alumni association, wrote in an e-mail.

This year’s festival has been renamed after Mary Williams Woodard, who spearheaded the celebration.

“This event has grown from a celebration in a member’s home to public venues with feast of various delicacies,” Wilson added.

The weeklong holiday honors African-American heritage and was created by Maulana Karenga in 1966. It is observed from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1. Activities include lighting a kinara, a special Kwanzaa candleholder. The holiday concludes with a feast and gift giving.

“Each of the seven days of Kwanzaa is dedicated to a principle honoring family and community,” Wilson noted.

At Sunday’s event, participants will wear traditional clothing. The feast will feature typical Kwanzaa dishes. A silent auction will also take place to benefit a FAMU fund in honor of Woodard. Visitors will enjoy the sounds of music, drummers, dancers and soloist.

For information call 305-761-8952.

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