Seitu’s World: The Kwanzaa Film Festival 2023 Celebration At The Schomburg Library In Harlem

December 27, 2023

By HWM and photographs by Seitu Oronde

On Tuesday, December 26th, 2023, Harlem photojournalist Seitu Oronde captured moments at The Kwanzaa Film Festival at The Schomburg Research Center in Harlem, NY.

The Kwanzaa Film Festival is committed to discovering and developing filmmakers to help support the principles of Unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith.

Each year they strongly encourage independent filmmakers who have universal themes from African American storytellers who attract a global audience.


Kwanzaa is an annual celebration of life observed for seven days from December 26 to January 1, 2023, by Black people to honor their heritage.

The week-long celebration may include songs, dances, African drums, storytelling, poetry reading, and a large feast on December 31, called a Karamu.

The seven principles of Kwanzaa:


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  1. Umoja (Unity): maintaining unity as a family, community, and race of people.
  2. Kujichagulia (Self-Determination): defining, naming, creating, and speaking for ourselves.
  3. Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility): building and maintaining our community—solving problems together.
  4. Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics: building and maintaining retail stores and other businesses and to profit from these ventures.
  5. Nia (Purpose): work collectively to build communities that will restore the greatness of African people.
  6. Kuumba (Creativity): to find new, innovative ways to leave communities of African descent in more beautiful and beneficial ways than the community inherited.
  7. Imani (Faith): the belief in God, family, heritage, leaders, and others that will leave to the victory of Africans around the world.

Photo credit: Seitu Oronde.

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