Thursday Dec. 28, starting at 7 p.m., the Trenton Anti-Violence Coalition will be hosting their “In the City” Kwanzaa celebration at the Big Easy Restaurant in downtown Trenton, 111 South Warren St. The event will be hosted by Trenton Anti-Violence Coalition community representative Divine Allah and the owner of The Big Easy, Olugbala Sababu. The family friendly and free event will be celebrating the third principle, Ujima, which represents creative work and responsibility. Along with lighting the Kinara, there will be a spoken word and community-related discussions. 

“Kwanzaa represents a time or moment for us as a community to reclaim, re-dedicate, re-commit what is ours,” said Divine Allah, who is also an ambassador for youth health with his Mind Body Activism group “We should strive to live the Nguzo Saba on a daily basis, we should try to live it beyond the celebration of Kwanzaa.”

Since Tuesday, Dec. 26, African-American families have been celebrating the seven-day festival. The celebration was founded in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga, then a professor at California State University and chairman of Black Studies. Kwanzaa is a Swahili word that means the first fruit of the harvest. Each day, families are to light the kumara, which represents one of the seven principles. The seven principles are Umoja, unity; Kujichagulia, self-determination; Ujima, collective work and responsibility; Ujamaa, cooperative economics; Nia, purpose; Kuumba, creativity; and Imani, faith.

The seven principles, or Nguzo Saba, promote unity in the African-American community.

Trenton Anti-Violence Coalition was founded in 2011 to promote community love and strength. The coalition was started after a young mother and her daughter were killed in a drive-by shooting. The coalition believes that it is up to them to make a difference in their community by fighting against violence. The coalition consists of victims of violence, residents, community activists, community-based organizations, church members and others. 

Since 2012, The Big Easy has been serving residents Caribbean, American and Southern cuisines.  Sababu opened the restaurant after working for years in the food industry. The restaurant is open Monday to Thursday, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday 7 a.m. to 1 a.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Sababu is also the manager of Your Big Easy Entertainment. Your Big Easy Entertainment is a performing arts platform for up and coming entertainers in Trenton.

 For more information about the event, call 609-338-2236 or 609-503-1996, 

 For more information about Your Big Easy, contact entertainment@yourbigeasy.com or call 609-375-8984.