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The significance of Kwanzaa in WNY and how you can still celebrate

"There's no Kwanzaa like a Buffalo Kwanzaa."
From Kwanzaa to Juneteenth, Buffalo is home to some of the biggest cultural celebrations
Posted at 7:10 AM, Dec 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-28 07:10:22-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Seven days of music, culture and coming together to reflect on the year.

"No Kwanzaa like a Buffalo Kwanzaa, we do it big here," Aymanuel Radford, Co-Chair, Kwanzaa Committee.

It's not a religious holiday, but a chance to be with family and friends before the New Year.

"Giving them a chance to take a break and celebrate some progress and some fruits of the years past," said Radford.

From Umoja which represents unity to Imani which represents faith.

"It means celebrating, it means being with family, being with loved ones. All the things that make the holidays great, that’s what Kwanzaa means to me," said Radford.

Aymanuel Radford has been helping Buffalo celebrate Kwanzaa since he was 10. Now as the co-chair, he helped put together a full slate of in person and virtual activities.

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"A bunch of performances, we have the tradition keepers, storytellers, from the opening to the dancing to the poetry, all the fun stuff that comes with the African culture," said Radford.

A culture so important here in Buffalo.

"Buffalo has one of the largest Juneteenths in America and Buffalo has one of the largest and most consistent Kwanzaas because we do it together," Ras Jomo Akono, Arts and Cultural Chair.

And this year is no different. Because of the cultural history here—Buffalo can always expect a visit from a special person.

“Dr. Maulana Karenga who is the founder and leader of Kwanzaa, he always makes time to come to Buffalo," said Radford.

Dr. Karenga will be joining virtually on Wednesday night.

All of this year’s Kwanzaa events will be streamed online so everyone can join in the festivities.

"We can kind of meditate on it, germinate and then in the spring we can see those seeds rise because six months later we want to come together in large numbers for Juneteenth," said Akono.

People can come together or stream online, click here for the Official Buffalo Kwanzaa Facebook Page.