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Out of Africa 

Cleveland's black community applauds creativity for Kwanzaa.

Here's your Swahili lesson for today, in case you're wandering down to the Rock Hall's eighth annual Kuumba Festival: The tribute to the African American holiday Kwanzaa starts with the greeting "Habari Gani." That means "What's the news?" We're here to tell you: Because the fest's national roots date to 1966 California, Cleveland organizers have booked the San Francisco-based Third Theatre Troupe to perform the Geanora Bonner musical Kwanzaa to explain the holiday's significance in the black community. For starters, performers are clad in traditional African robes to drive home the piece's definition of diversity. "[Kwanzaa] is neither political nor religious, and it is not a substitute for Christmas. They bring the message of Kwanzaa for audiences of all ages and all walks of life," says Ruthie Brown, the museum's community-programs director. "They will embrace and elevate the principle of creativity." The fest starts at noon today at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, 1 Key Plaza. Admission is free. Call 216-781-7625 or visit
Sat., Dec. 8, noon, 2007

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