Killeen: Residents explore family histories during Kwanzaa

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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) Central Texans are digging deep into their history this Kwanzaa as residents observe the week by exploring their genealogical footprints.

(Photo by Kristen Victorin)

Killeen resident, Miriam Terrell, has spent the last three months searching through her family history.

“This is something I've been wanting to do for years,” she said.

Terrell is half German, half African-American, and all in when it comes to the research.

She's enrolled in an independent study course, Know Thyself 101, with Inspired Voices Powerful Messages of Inspiration, piecing together a presentation just in time for Kwanzaa.

"It's our way of reconnecting throughout the holidays,” Know Thyself 101 coordinator, Rodney Duckett said.

Which is why those involved with the course express its significance, especially with black history.

"The best way to find black history is through genealogy and through your footprints. It gives them a sense of entitlement. It gives them a sense of empowerment," Duckett said.

Know Thyself 101 instructor, Wanda Gunter, helps the students involved find that, gathering pictures and family sentiments with one goal in mind.

"You see yourself as a part of history and then you start living your life in a way that helps you preserve history,” she said.

"For some reason it gives you more pride, it gives you an understanding of life, and makes you a part of a whole. And to me that's what I want to achieve,” Know Thyself 101 student, Waverly Hargrove said.

The celebration's last day is Friday night.

The event begins at 7 p.m. at the Moss Rose Community Center in Killeen.