Saturday, December 27, 2008
Kwanzaa Day 1 & 2
Oops, I forgot to post this yesterday so I'll combine the two principles today. Kwanzaa began on December 26th-Jan 1st (Boxing Day for the UK & Canada). For those who are not familiar with it, Kwanzaa is a holiday that celebrates Black American and Pan-African heritage. It is not tied to a specific religious practice though there is an element of spirituality to it I'd say. Wikipedia has a nice entry on it as well the official site for your review.
Umoja - Unity: Striving for unity in the family, community and nation.
A fractured community or nation is open to all sorts of outside attacks and can leave you on the verge of extinction. If you are considered part of a minority population where the deck has been stacked against you it is even more imperative to repair any breaches in self, in family and in community.
Kujichagulia - Self-Determination: To be ourselves.
Sometimes it can be quite the challenge to live your life based on your own ideals. Not based on traditions or religion beliefs passed down by your parents. Not based on a superficial societal pressure to conform to something. We can't be free if we're carrying other people's baggage.
As 2009 approaches and some people continue to look to symbolic advances that we hope will pan out for segments of our communities we really need to be thinking of ways to plan, strategize and build alliances with a long-term goal in mind.