Village People

In the canon of the Kwanzaa tradition, Ujamaa stands for cooperative economics: the idea that it takes a village to help everyone thrive. But, notes African-American community leader Brother Jeff Fard, that’s not necessarily a nod to cold commerce. “A key piece to Kwanzaa is that it’s not really based around commercialism, although there is a component of African-American economics and how we begin to buttress support for culture and community,” he says.

In that spirit, the annual Ujamaa Holiday Market, now in its fifth year, is really more about education than it is about buying things. “A lot of people are interested in celebrating Kwanzaa, but they don’t know how to go about it,” Fard adds. To that end, the market features Kwanzaa necessities such as kinara candelabras and colored candles integral to the celebration, as well as live cultural performances, interactive demonstrations, lots of books and a mother lode of Afro-centric merchandise, much of it handmade and one-of-a-kind.

Shop this year’s market from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and tomorrow at Tubman Hilliard Global Academy, 2741 Welton Street, and you’ll leave with a new appreciation for the communal character of Kwanzaa; get more information about the market and other Kwanzaa events at
Sat., Dec. 12, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 13, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., 2009

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd

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