Happy Kwanzaa: Ujamaa 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: Building the collective capacity to share our financial resources and to benefit and service of all.

Sharing Our Financial Resources

The Principle Ujamaa builds on and is link to the Ujima principle. Together these two principle teach and emphasize the cardinal virtues of Love, Caring, and Sharing, the underpinning of the 7 Principles. The Principle Ujamaa is grounded in our history in Africa and most importantly here in the United States. The “Negro Baseball Leagues” were funded through revenue sharing and in the South During the Period of Black Reconstruction, we built our houses and churches together through the pooling of our money and employing our collective labor. In most churches, every fourth Sunday, the offering which was collected wen toward a dedicated educational fund. African Americans gave this fund knowing that the children of the race would direct beneficiaries of their collective sacrifice and resources. This history underscores the need to observe the Second Principle- Kujichagulia- knowing and drawing lessons from our history. Given the current state of Black America, recapturing the spirit and practice of Ujamaa is imperative for our future. This is the principle is the material and spiritual force which pull the other principles-Umoja, Kujichagulia, Nia, Kuumba, and Imani- into their orbit.

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 Ujamaa Day  Commitment

The Ujamaa Principle directs the family to share its financial resources in the service of all. Family members discuss ways in which the family and community can build and expand their financial capacity by some form of revenue sharing.

The Candle Lighting Activity

The candle lighting activity is one of the most spiritually elevating and socially significant activities of the Kwanzaa celebration. It is around this activity that each members of the family makes solemn commitment to realize the talents and to continue the effort to build a viable family in the service of strengthening the bonds of family and community.

There is a powerful lesson in the lighting of the candles. The black people. Hence, “Black Lives Matter,” but only if we our values system embraces this idea and practice. We light the red candle during Kwanzaa as symbolic of work, effort, and struggle. We Kwanzaa teaches and reinforces the continuous toward achievement in school and society. And, the green candle is let as a symbolic of prosperity. The meta lesson here is that if black people, children, youth, and adults put forth continuous effort, they will succeed in school and in society. The first day the black candle is lit. The second day the red candle is lit. And the third day the green candle is lit. On the following days of Kwanzaa the red and green candles are it in alternate order.

The Family Activity

During Kwanzaa the family engages in a family activity that reinforces the Ujamaa Principle.




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