First Day of Kwanzaa:Unity Day

Kwanzaa is now observed as a national holiday by countless people in homes schools and public and private institutions across the United States.  Like African American History Month, Kwanzaa is a part of the cultural fabric of America and is a special time for African Americans to celebrate the joys of family and community, to African their humanity, to take inventory of what they have accomplished, beginning with the family and extending to the national African American community, and to recommit themselves to practicing the guiding principles of family and community- the Seven Principles.

To be sure, one of the appealing aspects of Kwanzaa is its de-emphasis on the material aspect of the holiday in favor of an emphasis on the social and spiritual aspect-family and community bonding, the practice and promotion of live, solidarity, and faith.  The guide below will serve to assist you in celebrating Kwanzaa.

 Fisrt Day of Kwanzaa-Umoja Day
Principle 1. Togetherness & Harmony

UMOJA (00-MOE-JAH) UNITY:  To strive for and maintain unity in the family, neighborhood and the larger community.

The first principle is a commitment to the idea of togetherness. This principle is a foundation; for without unity, neither the family nor the community can survive. National African American unity begins with the family. Open discussions of family problems and their probable solutions are very important.

The Umoja principle instructs that each member of the family and by extension the community is constituted by a web of interpersonal relationships.  The health and possibilities of the family and community is therefore dependent upon the quality of relationship within the family and community.

Instruction: As a family or classroom discuss the problems and possibilities of building and fostering unity in your family, class, school, or community.

There is strength in unity, but weakness in division.
Explanation: Unity is strength, division is weakness.

Mũtei and a Tiger
The land of “Help Yourself” had many tigers that used to eat farmers’ goats.  The people of that land had a dilemma because they had no use for tigers.  The elders met and decided to make tiger traps.  They made the traps, and every man began trapping tigers alone. 
 A man named Mũtei set out to trap a tiger.  One day a tiger came, but instead of the trap trapping the leg, it only caught one claw.  The tiger, however, did not remove the trap from its claw.  When Mũtei came to check his trap, he found the tiger.  He moved towards the tiger slowly, without making noise, and said to himself, “I will get close and shoot it with one arrow and kill it.”  He came close and strained his bow to shoot the tiger.  The tiger jumped up quickly and its claw came off the trap.  The tiger went after Mũtei but he ran and screamed loudly.  Fortunately, his children heard him and came with a flame of fire and scared the tiger away.  From that day, the people agreed that nobody would ever trap tigers alone.
 Mũtei – a person who traps
 Kĩtei – a trap

Moral of the Story: Unit in solving a common problem.  Watch out for what you consider to be a successful achievement.  Approach delicate situations with caution.  Be sure your “trap” has secured the right part before you come near your catch.  Learn from mistakes and change accordingly.

Congolese Riddle:
 Who can whistle from another man’s mouth?
Answer: The other man.

Significant Event In Black History

Montgomery Bus Boycott
  Sparked by the refusal of Rosa Parks to submit to the indignity of giving up her seat to a white man on the Montgomery Public Bus Company, a year-long boycott of the bus company was initiated by the black community.  For almost a year, blacks in Montgomery Alabama stopped riding the public buses.  Instead, they walked or organized for car pools to take them wherever they wanted to go.  In 1956, the United States Supreme Court upheld a lower court decision that declared Alabama laws requiring segregation on public transportation unconstitutional.
Instruction: Question and Answer
Identify and discuss the theme of unity in the Montgomery Bus Boycott.  What is lesson of the boycott? How was the Montgomery Bus Boycott an expression of the principle Unity?


Tags: ,

One Response to “First Day of Kwanzaa:Unity Day”

  1. Dawn Says:

    This is a wonderful help to me as I introduce or re-introduce the principals to my classes. Thank you so much!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: