Wilburn & Associates

African Americans have been in eastern Washington since 1880. though there were only 3 at the time. By 1885 there were 18 and by 1187 there were 38. Today there are 4,648 African Americans residing in the Inland Northwest!

Africa is a vast continent so the different countries celebrate in different ways as well as some of the traditional ways we celebrate in the United States. In Africa there are holiday parades held, and children go door to door singing. In Africa there are also have a lot of handmade holiday decorations.

Some people go to church on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning, but that happens in some African American communities as well!

The African American cultural group is very diverse, making it difficult to speak for everyone represented by the African American community. 

There are numerous holiday celebrations in the African American community including Christmas, Kwanzaa, New Year’s Eve, Watch Night Service, and New Year’s Day!

Celebrations look different across different holidays. For example, Christmas day involves opening presents, listening to Christmas music by African American artists, and having family gatherings and meals at the matriarchs home, whenever possible. Whereas each day of Kwanzaa is different. There is a different candle representing the different principle of the Nguzo Saba that is lit on the Kinara (a special candle holder for 7 candles) each day.

Wilburn & Associates offers an annual Kwanzaa program on one of the days during Kwanzaa.

Holiday Traditions

To celebrate winter holidays and New Year’s common attire includes Christmas sweaters, gold and silver colors on New Year’s Eve, hats, horns, and African attire for Kwanzaa!

In the African American community it is common for people to prepare holiday foods in advance. Some of the most traditional dishes include sweet potato pie, peach cobbler, bread budding, ham, turkey, eggnog, giblet gravy black eyed peas, chitterlings, fried chicken, and macaroni and cheese!

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