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Olivia Hairston
Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center

Last modified: Thursday, November 20, 2008

IU's Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center presents its pre-Kwanzaa events

Nov. 20, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center at Indiana University will present its pre-Kwanzaa event, "A Celebration of the Arts of the African Diaspora," on Dec. 4. It is free and open to the public.

Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center

Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center

Print-Quality Photo

Kwanzaa was first celebrated on Dec. 26, 1966, and is traditionally observed from Dec. 26 through Jan.1, with each day focused on Nguzo Saba, or the "seven principles." Derived from the Swahili phrase, "matunda ya kwanza," which means "first fruits," Kwanzaa is rooted in the first harvest celebrations practiced in various cultures in Africa. Kwanzaa seeks to reinforce a connectedness to African cultural identity, provide a focal point for the gathering of African peoples and to reflect upon the seven principles that have sustained them.

The pre-Kwanzaa ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. Dec. 4 in the Grand Hall of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, located at 275 N. Jordan Ave. Entertainment will be provided by the McCutchen/Mahluli Jazz Ensemble, Kwesi Brown and his African Drum and Dance Ensemble, Brazilian jazz artist Valeria De Castro and other performers.

Immediately following the musical performances, there will be "A Taste of the African Diaspora" in the center's Bridgwaters Lounge, featuring foods from various locales in the African Diaspora.

While the event is free and open to the public, organizers are requesting that people bring non-perishable food items, which will be donated to the local food pantry.

An art exhibition will be on display Dec. 1-12 at the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center Library. Artists Althea Murphy-Price, Katie E. Dieter, Joel Washington and Malcolm Mobutu Smith will present gallery talks, beginning at noon on Dec. 3.