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Don’t Celebrate Kwanzaa, Live Kwanzaa: Remembering our Ancestors

Art by Shirley Shelton 

During the Kwanzaa ceremony, Kukumbuka (Remembering), the ancestors and those who have lived and applied the Nguzo Saba (Seven Principles) with songs, poetry, literature, music or deeds are remembered and honored. It is in that spirit the names of individuals who transitioned during 2007 are listed below. Feel free to leave a comment including the name of your loved one who passed away this year.

  • Effi Barry
  • Elias Blake
  • Judge Jane Bolin
  • Robert "Buck" Brown
  • Roscoe Lee Browne
  • Chad Butler AKA "Pimp C"
  • Julia Carson
  • George W. Clinch
  • Pateesha Clinch
  • Alice Coltrane
  • William Dandy
  • Art Davis
  • Sgt. Donnie Dixon
  • Lucky Dube
  • Cecilia Dunn
  • Catherine Finch
  • Nailah Franklin
  • Eddie Griffin (professional basketball)
  • Rep. Augustus Hawkins
  • Billy Henderson
  • Oliver Hill
  • Dr. Asa G. Hilliard
  • Pookie Hudson
  • Joe Hunter
  • Pamela Hutchinson
  • Luther Ingram
  • Rev. Dr. Robert Ingram
  • Linda Innocent
  • Stebbins Jefferson
  • Dennis Johnson
  • Adrian Dennis Jones
  • Hercules "Pops" Joyner
  • Yolanda King
  • Ernie Ladd
  • Robert Weldon Lawrence
  • Henry LeTang
  • Marissa Lightbourne
  • Calvin Lockhart
  • Jon Lucien
  • Lamar Lundy
  • Harold Madison Jr. AKA "Mr. Butch"
  • Judge William McAnulty
  • Jesse J. McCrary
  • Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald
  • Barbara McNair
  • Rep. Parren Mitchell
  • Frances Murphy
  • Bishop G.E. Patterson
  • Frankie Bell Payton
  • Oscar Peterson
  • Max Roach
  • Eddie Robinson
  • Percy Rodrigues
  • Fred Ross
  • Dr. Sheryl Shivers-Blackwell
  • Monica Smart
  • Lowell Smith
  • Dakota Staton
  • Darryl Stingley
  • Sekou Sundiata
  • Sean Taylor
  • Zola Taylor
  • Hansel Tookes
  • Walter Turnbull
  • Ike Turner
  • Johnny "J.B." Turner
  • Dr. Donda West
  • Willye B. White
  • Audrey Bethel Williams
  • Darrent Williams
  • Willie Williams
  • Ernest Withers
  • Carl Wright

Kutoa majin is the calling of names of family members, ancestors and African-descended heroes to invite their presence. As the proverb says, "As long as someone is here to speak your name, you exist."

We first call forth beings of the past — family members, leaders and teachers who left us a place on Earth to harvest our success.

Please call out your deceased loved ones now.

Next we call out the names of those who are living now – our partners, friends, family members and co-workers. Please call out your living loved ones now.

Finally, we call on the nameless, faceless, formless children of the future. We ask a moment of silence for them because they have not been named, but we feel their presence. We feel their light because the work of freedom, dignity and prosperity must continue and we leave a legacy of triumph for them.





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Michaele Clinch

Thanks so much Vanessa. What a wonderful way to remember those we have lost in 2007. I would like to add my grandfather "George W. Clinch" and a neighbor "Catherine Finch". I know everyone will be missed dearly. Thanks again Vanessa, God Bless you. Happy New Year!


That was very nice and informative. I didn't realize some of those people had died.

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