SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — An African-American holiday that began in the 1960s kicks off today. A tradition that embraces bringing together the community to celebrate African heritage.

Seven letters, seven days, and seven principles.

Kwanzaa is a week-long celebration that revolves around recognizing African Heritage through different concepts.

“The founder of Kwanzaa wanted to make sure that we made a bold statement and have something that we can kind of like fill a week in the calendar that is for us, and by us, and I really love that about Kwanzaa,” said Glynis Johns, Founder and CEO of the Black Scranton Project.

The first principle of the African-American holiday tradition is unity, also known as “Umoja”.

A term that the non-profit Black Scranton Project strives for during this holiday.

“It’s all about you building your own traditions with your communities. It’s all about coming up with whatever it is you want to do. You don’t need to have a lot of money, you don’t need to have a lot of things. Flash and I love that I’m able to, kind of like, work with our community to build our own traditions for Kwanzaa,” Johns explained.

As an under-represented holiday within the area, it is Black Scranton’s goal to make people more aware of Kwanzaa.

“You look around, Christmas is everywhere. There is nowhere in the city that has anything about Kwanzaa so I really wanted to make a statement today and all week that Kwanzaa’s here and Kwanzaa’s the main celebration for the holidays for Black Scranton,” said Johns.

The organization will hold events all week, each unique to the principle the day represents.

The focus of the festivities is around the children, with hopes to teach them about the holiday at a young age.

“Any opportunity that I can to show kids about local history and local black history and traditions, I’m super excited for,” Johns said.

All are invited to experience the excitement of Kwanzaa.

The community is invited to visit Black Scranton Project during all seven days of Kwanzaa.