Forty-one years ago, Gerry Maxwell-Jones wanted to bring more meaning to her family during the winter holidays.
She turned to Kwanzaa, a weeklong celebration of African-American culture.
“I thought it was a more Afrocentric way of looking at the holiday,” says the 72-year-old Columbia resident, a retired Howard County School System employee. “Christmas had kind of lost its religious meaning.”
Three years later, she converted to Buddhism. “I moved here because of Jim Rouse’s vision for ethnic and cultural diversity. To be able to practice Buddhism in this community, with people all over the place, is really a pleasure.”
Maxwell-Jones says she never felt...