My friend suggested I research more about Kwanza and Christmas. I decided to post about Kwanza frist and then Christmas. Kwanza means frist fruits and it is a celebration that last seven days. Each day of the celebration has a theme.
The seven principles
There is one principle for each of the seven days of Kwanzaa in the following order.
1. Umoja (unity) to strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race.
2. Kujchagulia (self determination) to define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves.
3. Ujima (collective work and responsibility) to build and maintain our community together and make our sister’s and brother’s problems our problems and to solve them together.
4. Ujamaa (cooperative economics) to build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses together.
5. Nia (purpose) to make our collective vocation the building of our community to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
6. Kuumba (creativity) to do as much as we can to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
7. Imani (faith) to believe with our hearts in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.
I have to admit I have only particpated in one day Kwanzza celebrations. I don’t remember when I frist learned of Kwanzza, but I did think it was a neat idea. I felt the seven princples should be celebrated in the African American community. It seems that most of them were already encouraged by the black church and community any way.
The frist Kwanaza celebration I attended was in college. As president of the MultiCultural Organization, I thought it was good idea. We read the seven princples and ate the feast I had prepared and lit the seven candles. The next time I attended a Kwanaza celebration was at my church, It was part of the Kilao program (Rites of passage). My oldest daughter who was a girl scout was invited. I thought the celebration was interesting and a little long. I felt it was a good black history lesson.
The last Kwanaza celebration I attended was when myoldest daughter was in kilao. I had not planned to attend I was scheduled to work that day but unable to secure transporation for my daughter. I decided to call in at work and pratice “Umoja”. I had been working two jobs and not spending time with my daughters. We enjoyed the celebration. My youngest daughter was asked to particpate and I was proud.
I had been verbally abusive to my oldest daughter on the way to kilao. Her forgivness brouhgt me to tears. She bought me some make up( praticed Ujamaa ,cooperative economics andImani ,faith) and told me I should wear it when I went on my date. I couldn’t believe after I had acted so ugly that my daughter would want to buy me anything.
Now I have to admit Kwanzaa is becoming commerical like christmas. I have heard through the blogsphere that some people are gettiing to carried away with it, but Kwanzaa is just like everything else good in moderation and bad when taken to excess.
I believe the princple of Umoja is a christian based principle, in the book of Proverbs it talks a lot about family relationships and other places in the bible as well. Not mention Jesus advised us to love one another.
Ujima collective work and responsibilty, there are many verse about caring for the poor, widows and prisoners, so I can see where this would be a biblical bases princple as well.
Nia , purpose, there are numerous scriptures that support the idea that God has a purpose for our lives. Our main purpose to praise him. God is so wonderful he has given us many different purposes in our lives. We have different purpose based on age, and sex.
Kuumba ,creativity God being the master creator making us in his image means we are destine to create. God has given us the vision to create so many things.
Kujchagulia (self determination)and Imani (faith) are the two princples that can meaning can be preverted. In the Bible there are many examples of what can happen when faith is placed in the wrong thing.
With the hertiage of slavery and self hate in the black community I can see why Kujchagulia was included as part of Kwanzaa. I do also see how self determination can be taken out of context.
Please research kwanzaa for your self and decide if it is an idea to be embraced our not.