Kwanzaa ’06: Imani

Faith. You can rattle off any definition you like: the evidence of things not seen; one of the three great things (along with hope and love); a George Michael album, if you like.

Torichan attended a couple of celebrations, Eros Comes In Black Satin did it up proud. Nyasha Nicole had a nice tiny capture from a celebration she attended a few days prior.

And YBPGuide said this:

I hope 2007 brings you good health, good fortune, motivation to strive for bigger goals, and progression.
Look ahead to the future, don't dwell on the past. Have faith, and you
will get through this year stronger and more prosperous than ever.

Couldn't agree more.

Kwanzaa ’06: Kuumba

(cross-posted at

Creativity. It's like Butterfly FX says:

Take time to be creative whether in the kitchen, with a music score,
the brush, the clippers, the microphone, the computer, with your happy
feet, your hands, your vocal chords or guitar chords. We have a
creativity that can teach and heal.

That'll work. As will Sassy Redbone:

This day is one of my favorites because it challenge us to do
something that we as black folks have done all too well. Make something
out of nothing… No I am not talking drama… I am talking the energy
it takes to retrieve scraps from master and make a meal. The energy
that inspired Grandma to take torn material and make it into a quilt.
The energy that it takes to turn pain into poetry. The Energy that is
takes to turn a blank canvas into a masterpiece…


It is a beautiful thing. It is what keeps us going from day to day –
it is what stretches out a paycheck to the next pay period. We are all
creative in our own ways. Kwanzaa asks us to use our creative energy.
They ask us to use our creativity to help our community – but I want to
ask you to use your creativity to help your self… We all have our 9 –
5 jobs that we work every day. These are cool they keep the bills paid
and life comfortable for most. But is that all we want??? I want to
challenge you to extend yourself… Think about the lady that put
puppets in front of a camera and played Bach and Mozart in the
background, she initially made it for her own children. Baby Bach is
now a multi-million dollar corporation. We all have that little fire
inside of us that can be made into Kuumba… It might not be our place
in the universe to make over a million dollars however what we create
today may help others in the future…

That applies over all formats. Check out J.R. Richard's Mandrake Society Radio podcast with special guest Melanie Morgan for more. I had the pleasure of meeting J.R. at SXSW Interactive and Melanie at BlogHer.

Kwanzaa ’06: Nia

(cross-posted at

Purpose. It ain't all about a great Blackalicious album, neither. 😉

Nia (+ Bonus Tracks)

Jasmyne Cannick's got the definition and Black My Story and Deep Brown Girl at Just Sista Things (1, 2) weigh in briefly, but Linda takes a more personal and reflective tack on it. That makes me think about personal purpose vs. a community-focused purpose. Sometimes I think I have more community than I know what to do with. Sometimes I wonder what good I can do as well as what resolve the doable good will require.

Kwanzaa ’06: Ujamaa

(cross-posted from

Cooperative economics, right? Soulsearching's got the definition and DarkStar takes it on further. My thought? What does that mean in an attention economy where some small amount of, well, somebody's dollars can hinge on whether you click on this-here link to take you to that-there Web site or blog?

If attention is money, I'm'a always put a dollar in Planet Grenada's cap. (Go visit and wish proprietor Abdul-Halim a  Happy Eid.) He points to Garvey's Ghost's "Thoughts on Kwanzaa 2006," wherein Sondjata asks:

So if people can go through Kwanzaa and learn nothing of
Pan-Africanism or of African culture of the continent or the Diaspora,
then really, what is the point?

All I can say is that we who celebrate it or are aware of it and think it has meaning or utility have to do the heavy lifting. There are lots of Christians out there, and even they have a tough time cracking a Bible and getting to church on the regular. It's hard out there for a believer.

Kwanzaa ’06: Ujima

Collective work and responsibility means looking out for each other. We don't do that, what's the point?

What it means to Eric V. Copage:

[…] It means listening to one another. It means being part of the
brainstorming for a solution. If a black friend is looking for a job,
it means going through our Rolodex for business contacts.

If a black friend has a health problem, it means recommending a
trusted doctor, or a book that might offer a remedy, without being
asked. We are only droplets in the ocean of life, only vapor in the
sky, but through our collective actions our community will be renewed.

On this third day of Kwanzaa, Ujima, I pledge to give the gifts of
nourishment and support by suggesting a solution–without being
asked–when I notice someone in our community who has a problem. […]

And to Africa Adoption Blog:

[…] I saw this principle in action in Rwanda this past June. Once every 4
weeks, the entire nation takes a Saturday to do community good. This
could be cleaning the sidewalks, picking up trash, fixing a communal
building, painting or something that benefits the entire community. We
asked what happened if a family only wanted to clean in front of their
own home, for example, and were told that while no one would physically
force them to participate, it would definitely be frowned upon. What a
remarkable concept! Can you imagine the force for good we would have
here in the United States if every family participated in a
community-building project every single month? Wow. I love it! […]

And I liked finding Graphictruth today:

[…] Any time any
group of people wants to get together and collectively improve
themselves, to earn respect from others and (often much harder) improve
their own self-respect, I'm all for people "gettin' above themselves."
It's generally not all that hard, either, considering the sort of folks
that set that bar. […]