MIAMI — Wednesday, Dec. 12 — or 12/12/12 — was celebrated with the Grand Opening Reception of the Kuumba Annual Kwanzaa Art Exhibition at Amadlozi Gallery in the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center.
The exhibition continues through Jan. 21, 2013 at the center, 2166 N.W. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. (Northwest 62nd Street at Northwest 22nd Avenue) in Miami’s historic Liberty City district.
Kuumba means “Creativity” in the Kiswahili language of East and Central Africa (a language of unity among a diversity of nations), and is one of the Seven Principles (Nguzo Saba) observed during the seven-day celebration of the year-end African American holiday of Kwanzaa (Dec. 26 — Jan. 1).
Kuumba also gives its name to the Artists Collective which organizes and presents the annual art exhibition, a tradition begun in 1980.
The other principles are Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (Self-Determination), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose) and Imani (Faith).
The African-American cultural celebration was established in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Ron Karenga, as a renewal of traditional values vital to a people’s survival.
Kwanzaa (originally “Kwanza”) means “First,” referring to the “first fruits” to be enjoyed after the harvest, and is based on the ubiquitous yam festivals of traditional Africa, a time for rest, giving thanks, honoring ancestors and future generations, visiting family and friends, and exchanging news and gifts before beginning the new planting season.
The Annual Art Exhibition celebrates this spirit of renewal and collective well-being with inspired new and recent works by Florida African World artists (from Africa, the Caribbean, North America and elsewhere), and also an array of very affordable unique art pieces for gift giving and decorating homes and workplaces.