Celebrate Kwanzaa (Virtually) at The Wright

Habari Gani? Kwanzaa is just a few days away! Are you planning a special celebration with your family? We celebrate Kwanzaa and have a few things planned for the kids this year. We like to do DIY Kwanzaa crafts, read books about the special holiday, and support Black-owned businesses in Detroit.

Celebrate Kwanzaa: Free Virtual Events for the Whole Family
Zhen holding a Kwanzaa book we checked out from our local library. (Photo courtesy Jennifer Hamra for Good Life Detroit)

A couple of years ago, we started a Kwanzaa family tradition where we save money in a big coffee can. The kids decorated it with Kwanzaa colors and we placed our family photo onto the can. Throughout the year we drop in loose change or cash, and at the end of the year, we use the money to shop at a Black-owned business.

This family tradition is to celebrate the fourth Kwanzaa principle Ujamaa. You can read more about Kwanzaa here if you’d like to learn more about it and begin a family celebration of your own!

DIY Kwanzaa Activity for Kids
Photo courtesy Jennifer Hamra for Good Life Detroit

I also created a Kwanzaa felt board craft for the kids. I check out Kwanzaa books from the library and use the felt board as a visual tool to teach the kids about the holiday. You can see how I created the craft here if you like.

DIY Kwanzaa Craft for Kids
Our DIY Kwanzaa felt craft. (Photo courtesy Jennifer Hamra for Good Life Detroit)
DIY Kwanzaa Craft for Kids
Zhen in front of the Kwanzaa felt board craft we made. (Photo courtesy Jennifer Hamra for Good Life Detroit)


If you’re looking for activity ideas to celebrate Kwanzaa, then check out the Kwanzaa virtual events happening at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History (The Wright)! The celebration starts on December 26th and will end on January 1st. Here’s a list of events you can expect to stream online this year:

  • special music
  • dances
  • storytelling
  • poetry reading

Each night at 7 p.m. EST, you can log on to thewright.org to view a new presentation delivered by The Wright and one of its six partners: the African Liberation Day Committee, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Nsoroma Institute, UNIA & ACL, Nanou Diapo, and Hood Research.

Kwanzaa Events at The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit
Kwanzaa 2019 (Photo courtesy The Wright)


Kwanzaa is an African American holiday founded in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga, as a way to unite the
community following the Watts Rebellion. Each family celebrates Kwanzaa in its own way, but celebrations often include songs and dances, African drums, storytelling, poetry reading, and a large traditional meal. Each night, a child lights one of the candles on the Kinara (candleholder), then one of the seven principles is discussed.

“We are so honored and excited to continue our tradition of hosting Kwanzaa with our partners for the
community, especially in the midst of a pandemic that’s already taken so much away,” says Wright Museum Educator and Kwanzaa director, Yolanda Jack.

Celebrate Kwanzaa at The Wright in Detroit, Michigan
Photo courtesy The Wright


Although Kwanzaa is a traditionally African-American holiday, people from all walks of life are invited and
encouraged to participate, then share what they’ve learned each day.

“Over the coming months,” says Museum President and CEO Neil Barclay, “The Wright Museum will
continue to host engaging, high-quality virtual programming as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. We
invite everyone to stay engaged through email and social media as we unveil many exciting things on the

Click here for more information on celebrating Kwanzaa virtually at The Wright! (Kwanzaa information source The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History)



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