Preparing for Kwanzaa
The candle for creativity stands amongst six others, each standing for one of Kwanzaa's seven principles - including unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, and faith.
"There is no one principle that's stronger than the others," explained Dee Campbell Carter.
Carter says Kwanzaa is a lesson of character - a lesson she teaches to others every year.
"It's a spiritual uplifting opportunity and I think people come to get that and to learn how to take that home and provide for their families the same feeling," said Carter Kwanzaa coordinator Campbell Carter.
Surrounded by young and old, Carter brought hands together, both in prayer and in song.
"It's not um a spirtual holiday, it's not a national holiday, it's really a cultural holiday and so to learn about the African American culture is the goal and to benefit those that don't know about that and to teach 'em," said Carter.
And teach 'em she did. She also brought businesses of culture to the event - those that look to bring in a little bit of income, of course, but also those willing to teach.
"I sell multi-cultural calendars that have Scriptures on it or Bible verses on it," said mobile business owner Almeta Butler. "and then I also sell like Bible, Bible organizers that have the Scriptures on it."
"I love it, I think it serves a community that otherwise would have to shop online, ya know because in Columbia, they're aren't a lot of culturally based resources," said Butler.
Carter says businesses that offer products for kwanzaa are invaluable, especially since Kwanzaa doesn't receive national holiday status.
Although surrounded by basketball hoops, Douglass High school's gymnasium transformed into a gathering for food, and for a lesson on just what those seven candles of Kwanzaa mean.
Kwanzaa begins on December 26 and lasts through January 1.