by Baba Eng
The Spirit of Kwanzaa is one that has inspired, motivated and stimulated vision with creativity and faith for Black people since its founding in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1966.
For me, one of the primary focuses of the Kwanzaa celebration is the remembrance that it represents the joy of working together, loving together, being together for the year leading up to December 26th.
What that means for me is that each of the struggles and victories achieved throughout the year happened because of an adherence to the principles of Unity, Self Determination, Cooperative Economics, Collective Work and Responsibility, creativity, Purpose and Faith.
Knowing that those principles come forth from a system of governance known as Kawaida, which is founded on the values and principles of the Nguzo Saba, the seven principles of Blackness, offers me a complete way of Black beingness in the world as self, family and community. It gives me the solidarity of being, necessary for my individual development as a human being and as a social being in community with my people.
When I think about the journey of our Ancestors during the Maafa, The Afrikan Holocaust, I feel their strength of will that embodied unity, self–determination, cooperative economics, collective work and responsibility, creativity, purpose and faith. I think about my Ancestors, men and women in the bowels of slave ships, holding on to each other, supporting each other and comforting each other in the knowledge that Our Creator had a Divine plan for us, for them and the progeny that I now represent and that fuels my hope in depending on God’s Will for our future.
That is my thankfulness and joy, that is my appreciation and gratitude, that is the wealth of family and community that I delight in each and every day of Kwanzaa while I embrace each of every part of my legacy in a cultural tradition that is Ours as Black African People. This year our theme is ‘Reframing The Legacy of Mother Africa’, which to me is a very appropriate way of honoring who we are as Africans in America at this very special time that we are in.
Like my Queen, Karima, and Our Women say, “Kwanzaa 365!” Happy Kwanzaa family!