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A Drum Love Kwanzaa kick-off

Amadi Ajamu | 12/31/2015, 2:27 p.m.
Umoja! Unity! There was a spectacular celebration on the first day of Kwanzaa at Sistas’ Place in Bed-Stuy Saturday. It ...
Kwanzaa at Sista's Place Amadi Ajamu

Umoja! Unity! There was a spectacular celebration on the first day of Kwanzaa at Sistas’ Place in Bed-Stuy Saturday. It was a jam-packed family affair! Joyous singing, spoken word and music reverberated in everyone’s hearts and in the street.

Phenomenal cultural artist Nana Camille Yarborough began the evening’s festivities accompanied by a piano and guitar. Her soulful voice filled the space with love and warmth. Her lyrics and poetry spoke of togetherness and pride, reminding everyone, “We are all family, and unity is the key to African liberation.”

In the spirit of Amiri Baraka, Jersey City, N.J., sent spoken word ambassador Rashad Wright to bless the Brooklyn folk. Wright’s performance blew them all away. A master wordsmith, Wright delivered razor-sharp insights on racism and our struggles in the United States. His style is smooth and rhythmic, and he flowed with ease and sensitivity. Encore!

Drum Love topped off the celebration and rocked the house. Led by the Brooklyn-born Kwaku Ofori Payton, the eight-member drum group was tight! “We have traveled and learned from the masters drummers from here to Africa. We are honored to be able to play here in Sistas’ Place for our people and celebrate Umoja. We love you!”

The MC for the evening, Omowale Clay of the December 12th Movement, said, “Moving forward to 2016, we have to reassess our work and sharpen our political and economic weapons. In unity we will win! Umoja!”

Sistas’ Place will host their annual New Years Eve Jazz Concert featuring Craig Harris and friends Thursday, Dec. 31 at 10 p.m. at 456 Nostrand Ave., Brooklyn. Call 718-398-1766 for reservations.