Kwanzaa is a celebration held from December 26 through January 1 as a way to honor the African American culture and heritage. Kwanzaa was created by Maulana Karenga in 1966 as a way to reconnect with history. The celebration focuses on seven principles which include unity, self-determination, collective work, responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith. A feast is shared on the final day of Kwanzaa, and gifts are exchanged at this time. Celebrate Kwanzaa in Detroit at one of the cultural institutions in the city that hosts special events, activities or has collections where visitors can learn about the African American experience.

Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, Michigan (Credit, Nicole Wrona)

Charles H. Wright Museum Of African American History
315 E. Warren Ave.
Detroit, MI 48201
(313) 494-5800

Dates: Dec. 26, 28 and 29, 2013

The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History is the largest institution dedicated to the African American experience in the world. The museum’s magnificent exhibition space is unparalleled in beauty and breadth of the collections that can be viewed. There are both permanent collections as well as special programs held throughout the year. The museum hosts events which honor and celebrate the cultural heritage of African Americans during Kwanzaa. Begin the celebration on December 6 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. with the Day of Unity and the candle lighting ceremony. This annual Kwanzaa Celebration features many special activities including storytelling, music, singing and dancing. It’s an opportunity for the community to come together, connect and learn. Additional events include poetry, many styles of performances and a variety of vendors. In addition, a fashion show and a unique Kwanzaa marketplace is also featured. All ages are welcome to attend.

Detroit Institute of Arts
5200 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48202
(313) 833-7900

Date: Dec. 8, 2013

Walk through the golden doors of the Detroit Institute of Arts, under the remarkable vaulted ceilings and into the masterful Rivera Court. It is there that a renown storyteller will tell tales of Kwanzaa in a way you have never heard before. LaRon Williams is a nationally known storyteller who uses singing, theatrics and visual art to make stories come alive. His talent lies in creating engaging and memorable tales, and will have listeners intrigued simply by the sound of his voice. Listen as LaRon Williams tells tales which be centered around the traditions of Kwanzaa. Storytelling will also delve into the themes of Kwanzaa. This storyteller performance is part of ‘Family Sundays,’ an event that is always well-attended.

Related: Best Holiday Gifts In Metro Detroit That Give Back

Detroit Public Library in Detroit, Michigan (Credit, Nicole Wrona)

Detroit Public Libraries

5201 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48202
(313) 481-1300

Many local libraries in the Detroit area, including but not limited to the Detroit Public Library system, have an abundance of media and tools that can help people learn about Kwanzaa in depth. Many times, special events discussing or celebrating Kwanzaa are held at various branches. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the holiday from a knowledgeable source and share the experience with others. Crafts, storytelling and exciting games are held at different branches of the Detroit Public Libraries. The Redford Branch hosts a large Kwanzaa event each year. This celebration includes special activities and unique vendors. Please contact your local library for specifics, as events vary at different locations.

Related: Best Ways To Learn About Presidential And American History In Detroit

Head to CBS Detroit’s Best Of page for more local tips on family fun, shopping, nightlife, food, culture and more!

After receiving a BA in Photography from Savannah College of Art & Design, Nicole Wrona began working with a diverse range of musicians. In addition, she is a freelance writer for numerous publications. Her work can be found at and