YONKERS, N.Y. -- The rhythmic sound of drums filled the Yonkers Public Library Saturday afternoon as the Yonkers African American Heritage Committee hosted a celebration of Kwanzaa.
More than 200 celebrants, many clad in colorful, traditional African clothing, came together to honor the seven-day holiday that began in the United States in 1966 as a way to connect African Americans to their history and origins.
"We honor our heritage, our community here and continue to connect with our faith, community and family with Kwanzaa," Rob Winstead said. "And there is a need to educated and include our young people so they can continue honoring their heritage."
Audrey Johnson, who serves as secretary/treasurer for the YAAHC, said the event has been growing over the last nine years and was sponsored by the Yonkers Public Library, Shoprite Grocery Stores - Greenway Plaza and Sister-to-Sister International.
"This is the third day of Kwanzaa (celebrating Ujima - the third principal of collective work and responsibility)," Johnson said. "We cherish the opportunity to be together and the share our heritage. We hope we can educated some who don't know about Kwanzaa and share faith, family and our bond as African Americans."
The celebration included poetry, scripture readings, prayers, ceremonies honoring ancestors and performances by the Bokandeye African American Drum & Dance Troupe and The Upshaw Ensemble.
For more on the Nguzo Saba or Seven Principals of Kwanzaa check the link to the official Kwanzaa website.