As families across Philadelphia come together to celebrate Thanksgiving, one area charter school is sharing a “second helping” of Thanksgiving by hosting a traditional African American feast for its students.
On Wednesday, November 23, students, parents and staff at Harambee Institute of Science and Technology Charter School will unite to celebrate Thanksgiving with a colorful, African American feast known as Umoja Karamu. Harambee’s celebration will include food, music, prayers and storytelling.
Umoja Karamu, which means “unity feast” in the African language Swahili, honors the strength and unity of African American families. Created by Edward Sims Jr. in 1971, and celebrated on the fourth Sunday in November, the ceremony reflects on five periods in African American history.
Each period is represented by a different color. Black stands for the time period before slavery, white represents the time during slavery, red signifies African American freedom, green stands for the struggle for equal rights, and gold symbolizes hope for the future. Foods of these colors are shared during the feast to represent the five periods.