It is the end of the 7th, and final, day of KWANZAA. Today we celebrated IMANI (Faith). Today we renew our BELIEF in God, our people, our teachers and our leaders, and the virtue and victory of our struggle – IMANI!
When we speak of faith as it relates to the principles of the Nguzo Saba, one way we can practice Imani all year ’round is to always, always, always search for common ground amongst the desires and struggles of our peoples. This search is grounded in a FAITH that we all seek create a more community for our legacies. However, there are so many things that separate people in the black community that the phrase “black community” can almost seem like an oxymoron.
In every situation and circumstance, let us attempt to focus more on what brings us together than what tears us apart. If we are to keep the phrase “black community” from appearing to be an oxymoron, we must find common ground. We must focus on what we all need and put our personal opinions about this or that aside. It doesn’t mean we approve of or condone what we believe is improper. It just means we rise above our own personal biases and seek to do what is best for others and the community at large.
KWANZAA is a weeklong celebration of African-American culture that began in 1966. The holiday was created by African studies college professor Ronald McKinley Everett, also known as Maulana Karenga. During the seven days of the celebration, a candle is lit honoring one of the seven principles of Kwanzaa. The seven principles are unity, self-determination, responsibility, sharing, purpose, creativity and faith.
KWANZAA is about building communities, relationships, honoring the past, and working for the future. As the images below show, I was fortunate to enjoy KWANZAA celebrations this year with folks in our community and I will carry this reverence throughout the year to come.
Thank you for sharing this time with me – HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
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