Kwanzaa Celebration

By WBNG News

July 22, 2010 Updated Dec 26, 2008 at 7:38 PM EST

It's a celebration of family, community, and culture.

And this is the first of seven days, many African Americans across the country will celebrate Kwanzaa.

Action News Reporter Landon Sears tells us why the holiday is more significant this year for one local family.

The candles on the Brown family's Kinara bring light.

But the glow in Brenda Brown's eyes on this Kwanzaa reflects President-elect Barak Obama.

"This is a very special year to celebrate Kwanzaa." says Brenda Brown of the Town of Union.

Kwanzaa, a Swahili word meaning first harvest celebration, is special to her because of Obama's presidential victory.

"When I went into that voting booth I had so much pride and joy knowing that my ancestors fought off dogs, they were beaten, they marched, they cried, they made it possible for me." says Brenda Brown.

Brown's also reflecting on the heroism of African Americans who were forced into slavery.

"When I celebrate Kwanzaa I look back on the work of my ancestors so in addition to it being about the here and now, we also salute those who made it possible for us." says Brenda Brown.

The Brown's remember their ancestors through the candles on the Kinara.

"This is what we use to keep us going." says Brenda Brown.

Each candle represents a different African principle or moral.

"This is the first candle...it's unity." says Brenda Brown."

"You could actually see the seven principles of Kwanzaa being used for an election from everyone participating to say you know, we want change." says Lakeino Brown of the Town of Union.

"Pass it...drink some" says Brenda Brown.

The Browns drink from the sacred Kwanzaa cup.

They hope the election of Obama will bring all Americans a bright Kwanzaa.

"This is for me, is the happiest!" says Brenda Brown.

It's not only because of Obama...

But also because Brown is with her family.

Throughout the holiday, there will be a Kwanzaa display set up at the Roberson Museum and Science Center.

That's on Front Street in Binghamton.

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