The African American Museum in Philadelphia (AAMP) Announces Kwanzaa Celebration Lineup

PHILADELPHIA – The African American Museum in Philadelphia (AAMP) has announced a series of special programs and events to celebrate Kwanzaa, an African American holiday, which is rooted in African harvest traditions that uplift principles of family, community, and culture.

During the week-long celebration, December 26 – January 1, AAMP will offer virtual and in person, family-friendly activities that recognize and honor the seven principles of Kwanzaa, known as Nguzo Saba in Swahili. Daily activities include arts and crafts, panel discussions, a virtual cooking class, yoga & meditation, a vendor marketplace, open mic poetry, interactive workshops, and more. Guests are encouraged to dress in Kente, Ankara, or positive and empowering Kwanzaa-related attire all week long. Registration for each of the Kwanzaa events will open on December 2nd, 2022.

The lineup of programming and activities are as follows and is subject to change:

Monday, December 26, 6:30 – 8:30 pm: Kwanzaa Unity Celebration & Showcase (in-person)

On the first day of Kwanzaa, AAMP will we celebrate the principle of Umoja (Unity), which means “to strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race,” with the lighting of the Kinara to usher in this year’s Kwanzaa season. Additional activities will include open mic poetry and a drum circle, where guests are welcome to participate.

Tuesday, December 27, 6:30 – 8:00 pm: Defining Ourselves: Black Professionals On the Move (virtual)

On the second day of Kwanzaa, AAMP will celebrate the principle of Kujichagulia (Self-Determination), which means “to define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves,” with a virtual panel discussion featuring four powerhouse young Black entrepreneurs and professionals on identity and how we define ourselves in our respective industries.

Wednesday, December 28, 6:30 – 7:30 pm: The Griots Hour with I.M. Story Adventure (virtual)

On the third day of Kwanzaa, AAMP will celebrate the principle of Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), which means “to build and maintain our community together and make our community’s problems our problems and to solve them together,” by exploring the role of the Griot – an oral storyteller rooted in African tradition – and sharing stories of community and working together to accomplish great things.

Thursday, December 29, 4:30 – 8:30 pm: Market & Making (in-person)

On the fourth day of Kwanzaa, AAMP will celebrate the principle of Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), which means “to build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together,” with a curated Black-owned business night market. Shop for gifts (or Zawadi in Swahili) from vendors across the region, or create your own, with a paper quilt-making workshop, inspired by AAMP’s latest exhibition “Vision & Spirit: African American Art | Works from the Bank of America Collection.”

Please note vendors applications will be accepted until December 15. Final selections are subject to availability and are made at the discretion of the Museum.

Friday, December 30, 4:30 – 9 pm: Living Our Purpose through Vision & Spirit (in-person)

On the fifth day of Kwanzaa, AAMP will celebrate the principle of Nia (Purpose), which means “to make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness,” with a guided tour of the Museum’s latest exhibition “Vision and Spirit: African American Art, Works from the Bank of America Collection” and will express their vision in a vision-board, collage-making workshop. A guided paint party will also be offered, with limited seating available.

Saturday, December 31, 6:30 – 7:30 pm: Harriett’s Presents: The CookBook BookClub (virtual)

On the sixth day of Kwanzaa, which is traditionally a day held for a Kwanzaa feast, AAMP will celebrate the principle of Kuumba (Creativity), which means “always do as much as we can to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it,” with a virtual cooking class, hosted by founder of Harriett’s Bookshop, Jeannine Cook.

Sunday, January 1, 6:30 – 7:30 pm: Embodying Kwanzaa: A Meditation and Movement Practice (virtual)

On this seventh and final day of Kwanzaa, AAMP will celebrate not only the New Year, but the principle of Imani (Faith), which means “to believe with all our hearts in our people and the righteousness and victory of our struggle,” and will offer a meditation and yoga session to reflect on the principles of Kwanzaa and set intentions for the New Year.

All online programming is free, with donations encouraged. For in-person programming, the activities are included with general admission (free for AAMP members.)

Currently on display at AAMP is “Vision & Spirit: African American Art | Works from the Bank of America Collection,” an exhibition that has been loaned through the Bank of America Art in our Communities® program and features a collection of nearly 100 paintings, prints, drawings, photographs, and mixed-media works by 48 renowned African American artists born in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries The exhibition, which spans two gallery spaces, focuses on these talented individuals’ strength and spirit as creative forces whose work continues to shape our understanding of the world. “Vision & Spirit” will be on display until February 19, 2023.

For more information on AAMP’s Kwanzaa programming, visit