Monthly Archives: December 2010

This Holiday Season

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This Holiday Season I will be celebrating the 7 principles! Shouts out to Old Soul for the reminder…

On Dec. 26, that tradition continues. From 2-6PM at IPS # 51 (3426 Roosevelt Ave. 46218). This is a FREE family event with activities for everyone. Activities will include African drumming and dancing, live music, children’s crafts, poetry, singing, vendors and art displays. Please make this a part of your holiday tradition. Kwanzaa is not a religious holiday, it is a cultural holiday.

The History of Kwanzaa.
Dr. Maulana Karenga, professor and chairman of Black Studies at California State University, Long Beach, created Kwanzaa in 1966. After the Watts riots in Los Angeles, Dr. Karenga searched for ways to bring African-Americans together as a community. He founded US, a cultural organization, and started to research African “first fruit” (harvest) celebrations. Karenga combined aspects of several different harvest celebrations, such as those of the Ashanti and those of the Zulu, to form the basis of Kwanzaa.

The name Kwanzaa is derived from the phrase “matunda ya kwanza” which means “first fruits” in Swahili. Each family celebrates Kwanzaa in its own way, but celebrations often include songs and dances, African drums, storytelling, poetry reading, and a large traditional meal. On each of the seven nights, the family gathers and a child lights one of the candles on the Kinara (candleholder), then one of the seven principles is discussed. The principles, called the Nguzo Saba (seven principles in Swahili) are values of African culture which contribute to building and reinforcing community among African-Americans. Kwanzaa also has seven basic symbols which represent values and concepts reflective of African culture. An African feast, called a Karamu, is held on December 31.

The candle-lighting ceremony each evening provides the opportunity to gather and discuss the meaning of Kwanzaa. The first night, the black candle in the center is lit (and the principle of umoja/unity is discussed). One candle is lit each evening and the appropriate principle is discussed.

Seven Principles
The seven principles, or Nguzo Saba are a set of ideals created by Dr. Maulana Karenga. Each day of Kwanzaa emphasizes a different principle.

Unity: Umoja (oo-MO-jah) To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.

Self-determination: Kujichagulia (koo-gee-cha-goo-LEE-yah) To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves.

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

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

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

Creativity: Kuumba (koo-OOM-bah) inherited it.

Faith: Imani (ee-MAH-nee) 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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Truth Don’t Bling

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When I married my wife, I had to talk to her about a deep concern I had about the whole wedding process. This concern was something that I felt we had to settle before moving forward. It wasn’t concerning the ceremony or the planning process. It wasn’t even about the guestlist or participants of the wedding. No, I wasn’t concerned about the venue or even budget (errr. I mean, what working black man aint concerned about the budget?)

Well, more than budget concerns- I needed to talk about something that was a life or death issue.

BLOOD DIAMONDS

I gave this term a line of it’s own because it deserves alot of consideration when expressing what kind of LIFE I’d like to live with the love of my LIFE. This decision weighed so heavy on my heart that I needed it settled before even planning the 1st detail of the wedding. We had to be on one accord and in total agreement about this one.

Much to my surprise, my lady was right with me. She understood that our symbol of marriage could be marred by the realization that a kid was walking around in a foreign country with no arms or no LIFE.
We decided to bypass the whole Kimberly process and purchase diamond free wedding bands. Even though this didn’t sit well with friends or family who were looking for that fat rock to adorn her hand, we knew we wanted to embark on a marriage built on mutual consideration for the impact of our covenant.
5 years later, I have never regretted skipping the possibility of buying my wife a Conflict (BLOOD) Diamond.
Check out what the Nigerian Soul Superstar “Asa” had to say in verse 2 of her hit song “Fire On The Mountain”
05 Fire On The Mountain by mooney

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Nneka: Do It With Love!

“The period of time that I spent in Germany educated me a lot about being Nigerian. Before, I never really was that conscious of my surrounding, of our politics. I knew that there was something going on, but I never really felt responsible,” said Nneka. Continue reading

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