Today is the first day of Kwanzaa and I am having a few friends and family over to celebrate Umoja, which means UNITY. I was first introduced to Kwanzaa as a child when my mother volunteered me to work the slideshow at a black arts museum in Atlanta. I was so irritated then, but I am so thankful now. Now that I am a full grown Black feminist I want to take the opportunity to reflect on CFC posts from 2011 that I think of as part of Nguzo Saba–Seven Principles of Kwanzaa.
Image taken from http://www.lasentinel.net/UserFiles/File/122211/1Kwanzaa-kinara.jpg
UMOJA means Unity and it is my favorite day because it is simple. Gather together and rejoice, remember, and recommit yourself to your ancestors, friends, family and community. There are four posts highlighting this principle of unity on several levels from the very intimate to mass organizing. They demonstrate the power of unity to change our world and our-selves.
KUJICHAGULIA means self-determine/self determination and this is my second favorite day (you will start to see a pattern) because I love saying koo-jee-jha-koo-lee-ah. I also love it because I believe that is the greatest gift of black feminism. Through Audre Lorde I learned the importance of naming/defining oneself and the power of determining your path for yourself. The following are posts that I admired and taught this year precisely because I believe they express this principle.
UJIMA is really my favorite because I am a fan of collaboration and service in all areas of life. It means “collective work and responsibility” and this is something we at the CFC truly believe in. It is not enough to think about change, we must act! Whether is it recognizing the importance of care/self-care, the necessity of organizing, all of our responsibility to support mothers (parents) in childcare, or fighting to defend our right to exist—we must Act! Troy Davis we continue to speak your name.
UJAMAA is cooperative economics and this year it wins my CFC “top choice award” because without this community supporting our vision for doing a workshop specifically to introduce feminism to girls we would not have been to do it (meaning provide resources, goodie bag, and a healthy meal) for 10 teenage black girls in Atlanta. When there are so many people undervaluing the importance of girls, particularly black girlhood, you supported us and let us know that there are many around the globe that do value girls. For that we sincerely thank you. We must continue to support one another financially and emotionally in our immediate communities as well as our virtual ones.
NIA means purpose. My mother took this name a few years ago (favorite). I believe that this day is about being bold, being reflective and being open to listen to voices that you may not usually hear in order to move forward with “inclusive” political purpose for advancing justice in the lives of so many people who are marginalized and exploited.
KUUMBA is the best because it means creativity and the only way to be a united, self-determined, collective, cooperative, purposeful, person is to bring your full creative (free) self to everything you do, and I do mean EVERYTHING!
IMANI means faith. Faith is what I wish for each of you as we journey into this brand new year. Have faith in yourself and your abilities and your community and your spiritual source. You have everything that you need. Trust yourself. I feel blessed to be part of this community and I have faith that in this community we are doing good work.