“Habari Gani” if you’ve been following my blog since last year then you know that this is my second official year celebrating Kwanzaa beyond attending college productions or plays and community events. I’ve taken the time to educate colleagues and friends. I hope to continue my own practice, within my home, future children, and family at large. I’d like to eventually see more participation in Kwanzaa than Christmas (and materialism, obsession with gift requests, and exchanges) within my family overall.
Below are my Kwanzaa activities with the principle (Nguzo Saba) for that day:
* December 26: “Umoja” — Unity, I celebrated UMOJA by cooking with my husband. Together we made an exquisite dinner that we shared before a movie date, “Concussion”. I reached out to family members in regards to collective efforts and planning. I gave a friend feedback on career planning. Hubby and I discussed the inherent themes of UMOJA in the film, Concussion, as well as in the making of the film. We read articles online about the African American director, Will Smith’s calls to Hollywood, and the life and times of Dr. Bennet Omalu.
* December 27: “Kujichagulia” — Self-determination, I celebrated Kujichagulia by going to the gym with my husband and working on my fitness goals. I sorted a meal plan and preparation for the following two days. We also discussed our careers and planned entrepreneurship together. My hubby is a certified personal trainer, and I am an educator (certified to teach ELA grades 5-12). Although he works for a private company as a counselor, and I teach at the college level, there’s more for us. We have plans under development for our own learning center. We are in the process of sharing all that we have to offer as mentor to children in need within our community.
* December 28: “Ujima” — Collective work and responsibility, I celebrated Ujima by purchasing some necessities for a friend in need. I also attended at “Protest and Journalism” event by the Rochester Association of Black Journalists. I invited friends and shared the coalition events on social media.
* December 30: “Nia” — Purpose *Worked on my action plan*
* December 31: “Kuumba” — Creativity*Started a passion project*
* January 1: “Imani” — Faith. My niece is named after this principal, as my late twin brother was a self educated student of Swahili.
* Note: Non African-Americans are also welcome to participate in greetings. The traditional greeting for them is “Joyous Kwanzaa.” I hollered when I saw presidential candidate, Hilary Clinton sporting red, black, and green and tweeting about Kwanzaa. I appreciate her initiate, even if it’s just for votes. She tried it.
Through the Kwanzaa experience, I researched, supported and promoted local African shops and Black owned businesses.
Check out my top picks: