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Diallo Sumbry wants to clear the air surrounding Kwanzaa, a week-long celebration that honors African American culture. “Kwanzaa is not an anti-Christmas,” he says. “It is a celebration of African American people.”
That’s why Sumbry—a D.C. based musician and talent manager—helped organize the first-ever “Umoja on U” celebration, set for Sunday night at the historic Lincoln Theatre on U Street NW. The holiday lasts from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1.
“I hope we get a lot of people who have never celebrated Kwanzaa, so we can dispel the myths,” Sumbry says.
During the program, organizers will honor eight community leaders for their years of service. The plan is to host similar Kwanzaa events and honor different leaders each year, Sumbry says.
“This is a great opportunity to celebrate Kwanzaa on the grand scale it deserves,” says Lasana Mack, founder ofthe BlackNotes music group and co-organizer of “Umoja On U.” “The goal is to uplift the principles of Kwanzaa in a grand community celebration.”
In addition to BlackNotes, Farafina Kan, Gods’Illa, Maimouna Youssef and the Ballou High School choir are expected to perform. BlackNotes and Gods’Illa are expected to unveil new songs during their respective sets.
The Lincoln Theatre is located at 1215 U St. NW. Doors open at 5 p.m., and the show begins at 6 p.m. Tickets are available here. Call (202) 328-6000 or (202) 286-2688 for more information.