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Kwanzaa celebration in Colorado City

By Floyd Miller



Colorado City- My fellow Abilenians, do you ever wonder what’s going on in the cities surrounding Abilene? I’m going to encourage you to explore some of the West Texas cities as Marilyn and I did on December 30. We motored over to Colorado City to observe the Kwanzaa celebration which they have hosted for four or five years. We were greeted by a friendly group of people. After a few minutes Mrs. Green welcomed {{more}} everyone to the occasion and introduced Mrs. Glenda McGaha the master of ceremonies. Mrs. Green led the group in a hearty rendition of “This Little Light of Mine”. That was followed by a prayer from her husband Pastor Floyd Green; he blessed the occasion and the food. Speaking of food we had “real soul food ”cornbread, black eyed peas, pig feet, neck bones, greens, sweet potatoes, pork chops, ice tea and water. There was no charge for the meal but donations were accepted. After the meal Mrs. McGaha introduced the program. The first group to perform was The Lane Family Praise Team under the direction of Mrs. Bonnie Lane. This is an amazing family. The group was started after she and her Marine Corps husband lost their daughters Asia and India, 5 and 1 respectively, in an automobile accident this past August. She said that if it was God’s will, they would be performing with the group. They paid tribute to her daughters. The team did a song entitled “We Must Praise.” The group, ranging in age from 3 to 8, is made up of the Lane’s daughter August, son Collin, and some of her nieces and nephews. The following individuals each explained a day concerning Kwanzaa.Mr. Rod Amos told of Umoja – To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race. Mrs. Bonnie Lane explained Kujichagulia – To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves.Mrs. Bernadine Grissett spoke about Ujima – To build and maintain our community together and to make our brothers’ and sisters’ problems our problems and to solve them together. Mrs. Gladys Gerst explained Ujamaa – To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit together from them. Mrs. Bonnie Lane, filling in for her husband Rodney, talked of Nia – To make as our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness. Mrs. Cora Walker introduced Kuumba – To do always as much as we can, in the way that we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than when we inherited it. Mrs. LaTonya Gaines spoke about the last principle Imani – To believe with all our hearts in our parents, our teachers, our leaders, our people and the righteousness and victory of our struggle. Each individual did an outstanding job of explaining what each term meant. As the program was about to end Mrs. Gladys Gerst sang “I won’t complain”. Mrs. Gerst the former Executive Director for People for Progress served a three month jail term for misuse of state funds. Mrs. Gerst still maintains her innocence in this case. As I drove back home I thought that if Mrs. Lane can lose two daughters and still praise Him , and if Mrs. Gerst who has done so much for so many people, can go to jail and not complain. Maybe we all should commit to making 2007 a year of Praising Him more and complaining less..

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