Here are a few facts to help anyone that is curious and considering celebrating Kwanzaa It was created in 1966 by Pan-African activist and academic Maulana Karenga Kwanzaa is observed for seven days, and there is a different value for each day Kwanzaa is a secular holiday Kwanzaa is open to people of other cultures It is often celebrated along with Christmas Kwanzaa's dates weren't chosen because of Christmas or Hannukah, according to Karenga At the end of the week, gifts are exchanged and there's a feast

New Birth hosting Kwanzaa expo on Black Friday to promote small businesses

New Birth Missionary Baptist Church hopes to redefine Black Friday shopping with a Kwanzaa event that highlights minority-owned small businesses.

From Nov. 29 to Dec. 1, the DeKalb megachurch is hosting the inaugural “Kwanzaa Plaza” event, featuring 100 vendors. The event is “geared at highlighting local entrepreneurs and fostering commerce within the African-American community,” New Birth said in a statement.

Kwanzaa is a week-long annual celebration that honors African heritage in African-American culture. Though it is observed Dec. 26 to Jan. 1, New Birth decided to hold the expo event the weekend after Thanksgiving to take a new approach to the Black Friday shopping holiday.

The plaza will feature fashion designers, art, cultural products, skincare/personal care products, food vendors and more. Vendors are still able to register.

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“The response has been amazing from both local minority businesses as well as the community,” said Pamela Booker, who organized the event. “New Birth is creating a needed avenue for businesses to thrive and a unique platform to highlight exceptional products and merchandise.” 

The plaza is open on from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday Nov. 29 and Saturday, Nov. 30; and noon to 7 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 1. It will take place at the church’s family life center located at 6400 Woodrow Road in Stonecrest.

“Our Kwanzaa Plaza is a direct and unapologetic effort for New Birth and the community to come together and support our brothers and sisters who are creating, designing and cultivating incredible goods and services,” Senior Pastor Jamal Bryant said in a statement.

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Channel 2 investigative reporter Richard Belcher has been covering the ongoing dispute for more than a year.

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