Today, the daddy is feeling Kwanzaa, the principle from the 6th day of Kwanzaa: Kuumba(Creativity). But first, let's review the principles of Kwanzaa:
Kwanzaa celebrates what its founder called "The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa", or Nguzo Saba (originally Nguzu Saba - "The seven Principles of Blackness"), which Karenga said "is a communitarian African philosophy" consisting of Karenga's distillation of what he deemed "the best of African thought and practice in constant exchange with the world." These seven principles comprise Kawaida, a Swahili term for tradition and reason that Karenga used to refer to his synthesized system of belief. Each of the seven days of Kwanzaa is dedicated to one of the following principles, which are explained by Karenga as follows:
- Umoja (Unity) To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race.
- Kujichagulia (Self-Determination) To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves.
- Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility) To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers' and sisters' problems our problems and to solve them together.
- Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics) To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together.
- Nia (Purpose) To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
- Kuumba (Creativity) To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
- Imani (Faith) To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.
These principles correspond to Karenga's notion that "the seven-fold path of blackness is think black, talk black, act black, create black, buy black, vote black, and live black."KUUMBA
On this day, those who celebrate Kwanzaa this day and throughout the year pledge:
"To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it. "
Certainly, Africans in America have given America so much creativity. From politics to sports to music to science (there were many in the 19th century), blacks have often lead the way in applying Kuumba to whatever they do. But this creativity starts in the home where both mommy and dad have to "make do" with what they have. Moms had to be creative in cooking, using what's left in the fridge to make big stews in the oven. Dads often had to hold two jobs to keep the family together. For example, they became "shade-tree mechanics," repairing cars
by hosting a chain over a leg of a big tree to pull out the car motor.
This creativity at home fills out to the streets when mom's little girl, filled with mom's stew and mom's love-kiss on her cheeks, does all kinds of lifts, spins, and jumps on the ballet floor. It shows again, when a proud dad's son takes a football, runs through a hole then quickly stops and spins if on a dime to avoid a tackler and flies down the field toward the endzone.
This creativity is the same kind of creativity that many poor immigrants had to use to stay together, survive and succeed in, when they first came to America. They, too, in one way or another, had do do all kinds of spins, lifts and turns on a dime to survive and succeed in a strange new land called America. And this creativity to survive and excel is a characteristic they want their children to learn and hold onto, because it is America, a part of who we are, not only as a subset of America. It is a characteristic that make us distinctly American.
How do you practice Kuumba or creativity in your home?