Kwanzaa on Campus: Tabitha McKinley

Science teacher Tabitha McKinley joined the science department this fall, and worked with several students to bring a bit of Kwanzaa to our community in a recent presentation in Chapel. Kwanzaa is celebrated from December 26 through January 1 each year.

When I first came to the campus and heard my first chapel talk, I thought to myself "We should do something for Kwanzaa".

It was exciting to talk to some of the African American kids on campus to see who would do the Kwanzaa talk with me. I was relieved to see how excited Makeeda Sinclair was, and told me that her family had been celebrating Kwanaaa "forever". I'm not so sure about Daniel Breland, but since both of his parents went to my Alma Mater (Howard University), I think he felt a kind of obligation. Morgan Spivey is excited about EVERYTHING! I mean absolutely everything! It didn't hurt to mention that I would call her aunt (my sorority sister) if she even thought about not doing the talk. Bridget, she's Bridget. She's like Gidget. Do the kids of today even know about Gidget? Gidget was America's sweetheart! Bridget is the same. She'll do it just for the chance to share her beautiful smile and silly laugh with Peddie. Jamie Woodard's parents and I discovered MANY commonalities during Parents' Day. I think she did it for fear that I may show up at her doorstep with my family in tow as her father and my husband are alumni of the same college (Morehouse) and her family invited us to come over to their house-YES, Jamie, we are coming!!

Many people were unaware of what Kwanzaa actually means to Americans of African descent, and it was beyond rewarding to share the symbols, days and meanings of them with the Peddie community. There will forever be a place in my heart for the time I heard a chapel full of students first say 'MMMM kay kah' after Daniel Breland asked them to repeat after him. Everyone embraced Kwanzaa!!