Umoja: Black CommUNITY

Greetings Blackademics! Today is the first day of Kwanzaa. For those of you who don’t know, Kwanzaa is not some imitation Christmas or Hanukkah, it is unique annual festival/celebration for people of African descent, observed from December 26th through January 1st. Founded by Maulana Ron Karenga (who we will interview here on Blackademics in 2007) in 1966, Kwanzaa is now celebrated all over the world. Learn more about the holiday here.

kawanzaa One of the ways we want to celebrate here on Blackademics is by dedicating a post every day, to each of the 7 elements of Kwanzaa. In the body of the post, I will talk about the principal, then in the comment section I want yall (the Blackademics community) to respond with personal stories/testimonies/expressions, which reflect the spirit of that element. This is an expression of community and family that transcends the traditional “academic,” or “intellectual” conversations that usually take place on this blog-bear with me. I believe it will take an intellectually and spiritually well-nourished Black community to truly initiate change – this is simply a way to cultivate some of that spiritual energy. (hope that wasn’t too metaphysical for all of you Black intellectuals out there!)

So today, is Umoja, which is Swahili for Unity: to strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race. What elements of Unity can you share with the rest of us?

james And before I forget. Another crucial element to Kwanzaa is paying respect to the ancestors. And here on Blackademics we can’t really pour a libation, but I thought it would be nice to honor one of the legends of the Black community, the God Father of Soul, James Brown. He died yesterday, on Christmas. Rest in peace, brother.

Instead of writing seven individual posts for each Kwanzaa principal, I will list the other six here and we can respond accordingly. Please feel free to contribute to any pincipal which is relevant to you.

Kujichagulia (Self-Determination)
To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves.

Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility)
To build and maintain our community together and make our brother’s and sister’s problems our problems and to solve them together.

Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)
To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together.

Nia (Purpose)
To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.

Kuumba (Creativity)
To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.

Imani (Faith)
To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

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Published on December 26, 2006 at 11:15 pm. 9 Comments.
Filed under black culture,positivity,spirituality.