Happy Kwanzaa Ujima Day

Defining Kwanzaa

Kwanzaa is an African American holiday which highlights 7 principles (Umoja/Unity, Kujichagulia/Self Determination, Ujima/ Collective Work and Responsibility, Ujamaa/Cooperative Economics, Nia/Purpose, Kuumba/Creativity, and Imani/Faith) which corresponds to each of the seven days of Kwanzaa. The family and community are the context in which Kwanzaa is celebrated. Kwanzaa is a non religious holiday, celebrate by those of all faiths.

Defining Ujima/Collective Work and Responsibility: This principle is the duty of family members to watch over each other, to be each other’s “brother’s and sister’s keeper.”

Caring for Each Other

The Principle Ujima cultivates the greatest sense and practice of empathy. Being empathic is not just an emotional feeling, but a critical component of our humanity. The African maxim give voice to this notion: “A human needs help.” The “imperative here is to act because our families and people deserve t be helped. This notion is “born of an acute sense of the essential dependency of the human condition.” The African proverb underscores the concept and value of interdependency reasoning: “A human being is not a palm tree as to be self-sufficient.” Humans, therefore, at all times directly or indirectly, need the help of others.

The Libation Statement

This is an optional Kwanzaa activity. The pouring of libation is for family members and love ones as well as historical figures who have passed away. They made it possible for us to live with greater freedom and enriched our lives in infinite ways. Therefore, we remember our family members-parents, grandparents and their parents by pouring libation and calling for their names. In doing this we keep alive their memory and spirit. This we owe to them.

The Ujma Day Commitment

Collective work and responsibility Principle commits the family to watching over each other and to ensure the well-being of each family member. This principle is a powerful force in the construction of family and community, and in the healthy development of children. Family members commit to being responsible for the welfare and success of each other. Similarly, all adults in the community are responsible and accountable for the success and failure of neighborhood schools and the safety of the community. The safety of the family and community is most definitively grounded in a network of caring adults who monitor the behavior of children and are committed to their well-being.

The Family Activity

During Kwanzaa the family engages in a family activity that reinforces the principle of Collective Work and Responsibility.




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