Kuumba (pronounced “koo-oom-bah”) is a Swahili word meaning “to create,” and expresses the choir's mission to celebrate Black creativity and spirituality through various mediums of artistic expression: song, dance, poetry, theater, visual art, etc. Kuumba was founded in 1970 by Black Harvard undergraduates, and is Harvard’s oldest existing Black undergraduate organization. Founded during a time of heightened racial tensions—in the midst of the “Black Power” and Black pride era that immediately followed the 1968 assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.—the choir quickly emerged as a safe space for Black students on campus. And to this day, Kuumba continues to serve as a source of community, and a safe space where individuals can reflect on the creative genius of Black people and celebrate Black art in its many forms.
Through all the triumphs and tribulations Black people have faced, Black love has endured and thrived in all its various forms. From romantic love to familial love to spiritual love, Black love permeates through the Black community and breathes life into our relationships with one another and ourselves; without it, the adversity we face would be unbearable. Black love's resilience, beauty, and might rests within us and cultivates the hope we need to continue to survive. We would like to invite you to join us in celebrating the multiplicity and majesty of Black love through song, dance, and poetry. You won't want to miss this!