Monday marked the first day of Kwanzaa, the African American holiday observed the week following Christmas.
Hundreds trickled into the with Wisconsin Black Historical Society to celebrate the first night, but the 7-day observance will also be celebrated in homes all over the Milwaukee area and the nation.
Kenneth Brown II was raised celebrating the holiday and now passes on the tradition to his 5-year-old son.
“As a father and as a black man it makes me proud to know that I'm able to stand on my feet and stand on my beliefs and teach my son to not be in the street,” said Brown.
Brown believes Kwanzaa is a lifestyle, not just the designated week black families uplift their culture, recognize the past and celebrate what's to come.
“It’s so important because what it does, it tells us that we come before the slavery. That our people are great people who have contributed much to the world,” said Clayborn Benson with the Wisconsin Black Historical Society.
According to Benson, each day is represented by a principle like; unity, creativity, and faith.
“Nia, to have a dream, to have a purpose, to have a goal,” said Benson.
Brown’s goal is that more black families celebrate Kwanzaa and live the principles.
“When we can get to that same page of black love and what it looks like together, then I think we'll be able to move forward,” said Brown.
Monday’s obeservcance at the Wisconsin Black Historical Society also included an open discussion on this year’s riots at Sherman Park.
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