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Ohio University to host 16th annual Kwanzaa celebration on Nov. 6

ATHENS, Ohio (Oct. 24, 2005) -- The Office of Multicultural Programs, Lindley Cultural Center and the Black Student Cultural Programming Board (BSCPB) will host the 16th annual Kwanzaa celebration and dinner at 6 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 6, at the Baker University Center Ballroom. The theme of the celebration is "African American Self Determination."

The keynote speaker will be poet and political activist Amiri Baraka (formerly LeRoi Jones). He is best known for his award winning play, "Dutchman and The Slave" (1964), and his activism with the Black Nationalist party after the assassination of Malcolm X.

After 20 years of service, Amiri Baraka retired from teaching in the Department of Africana Studies SUNY-Stony Brook. He now resides in Newark, N.J., with his wife, poet Amina Baraka. In addition to Amiri Baraka's speech, there will be a dinner and live entertainment in celebration of the cultural traditions of Kwanzaa.

Kwanzaa is an African American and Pan African holiday, which commemorates family, community and culture. Traditionally, Kwanzaa is celebrated from Dec. 26 thru Jan. 1; however, at Ohio University it is celebrated in November because most of the students are home for break in December.

Its origins are in the first harvest celebrations of Africa. The name "Kwanzaa" is derived from the phrase, "matunda ya kwanza," which means "first fruits" in Swahili, the most widely spoken Pan African language.

All Ohio University students, faculty, staff and family members are invited to the celebration. Tickets cost $12 for adults and $6 for children under 10 and can be purchased by calling the Office of Multicultural Programs in the Lindley Cultural Center at (740) 593-4027.

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Media Contact: Multicultural Programs Assistant Director Randi Congleton, (740) 593-4026 or congleto@ohiou

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