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Sorority celebrates Kwanzaa at library

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson“Anyone over 75?” Walker said. Stokes’ hand was still up. “From my 76 years, I give permission to start the proceedings,” Stokes said, giving in to the inevitable. Stokes and other members of the Pasadena Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, headed by coordinator Esther Watkins, staged the annual celebration at La Pintoresca for the 17th year. As Kwanzaa gains popularity and acceptance in many parts of the black community, the sorority’s event “gets bigger and bigger,” said Gwendolyn McMullins, the chapter president. Based on ancient African harvest celebrations and cultural traditions, Kwanzaa was created in 1966 by Maulana Karenga. Thursday’s event commemorated black heroes and remembered family members with libations, and interpreted Kwanzaa with storytelling, dance, poetry, music and food. “Don’t forget the food,” McMullins said. “It’s all homemade, all African recipes.” The seven-day celebration, based on the seven principles of Kwanzaa always comes right after Christmas, McMullins said. The sorority has used it as a way of bringing the whole community together during the holidays while providing cultural enrichment through art and information, she said. “Kwanzaa is not just about being black,” she told the 100 or so children and parents who participated. “It involves everyone.” Evan McCrary, 17, a member of the Delta Gems – high school girls mentored by the sorority women – was one of the volunteers helping with the event. “I don’t know that much about it, but it’s part of my culture,” said McCrary, a student at Waverly High School in Pasadena. “I’m trying to immerse myself in different cultures and religions – just learning is one of the things I like to do.” Pasadena City Councilwoman Jacque Robinson, a member of Delta Sigma Theta, said Kwanzaa for her was more of a sorority than a family event. “But it’s becoming more significant, especially with all the issues in the community,” said Robinson. “It gives us the opportunity to come together as one family and celebrate our accomplishments throughout the year … and allows you to focus your thoughts.” [email protected] (626) 578-6300, Ext. 4482 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! • Photo Gallery: Kwanzaa celebration PASADENA – Before Thursday’s official Kwanzaa celebration could begin, as in African tradition, the most senior person in the room had to give the go-ahead. “Anyone over 70?” asked Diane Walker, head librarian at La Pintoresca Branch Library. Alma Stokes reluctantly raised her hand. last_img read more