Umoja Black Graduate Celebration: A Community Celebration to Honor Black Graduates in Washington County is a way for our local community to engage in our cultural tradition of rites of passage, honoring the African ritual initiation of our youth into adulthood. This celebration also allows us as a community to come together across generations to honor the legacy of civil rights leaders, trailblazers, and family members, who, in the face of discrimination, segregation, and other institutional barriers, worked so hard to create the educational opportunities we have today.
Each graduate is given a Kente cloth stole. Kente cloth is a traditional fabric from Ghana. While the lineages of African-American students varies across the Africa continent, the meaning of the Kente cloth stole represents pan-African values through the stories of hope, love, and guidance woven into the cloth. The Kente cloth is also a representation of the connection of African-Americans to the rich culture of creativity, innovation, and reverence within their African ancestry; a history that slavery and racial oppression sought to erase. Each color and symbol has a special meaning. While students may wear their own unique stoles to the ceremony, the BBPU stole colors represent the following: White = Purity, Black = Maturation of spiritual energy, Gold = Prosperity in future endeavors.
Our 2023 Celebration will be held at the Patricia Reser Center for the Arts on Friday, June 2nd 2023.
We welcome and deeply appreciate the whole community's support for the accomplishments of this year's graduating class.