Habari gani bloggers?!
Now you say–Kujichaguila!
Today’s principle is self determination or the Swahili word, “Kujichagula,” which reminds us to define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves.
We went to the American Museum of Natural History for the Kwanzaa celebration and we were able to hear Doug E Fresh speak to a large audience about the 7 principles of Kwanzaa. The highlight of our afternoon was watching the award-winning filmmaker MK Asante introduce his movie The Black Candle: A Kwanzaa Celebration.
After the heart touching, enlightening and inspiring film, MK Asante followed it with a musical tribute to the film’s narrator, Dr. Maya Angelou. In the film we learned about some history behind Kwanzaa, how Kwanzaa made families and neighbors even stronger during Hurricane Katrina and how many are not even aware of what Kwanzaa is and why we should celebrate it. As Black people, we deserve to celebrate ourselves, our struggle and strength. I loved learning that people all over the world including Africa celebrate Kwanzaa, even though it was created in the USA. I highly recommend that you watch his film, if you have not already!
Below is part of his musical tribute, with the feature of Dr. Maya Angelou.
Visiting the museum’s Kwanzaa celebration was really exciting for my boyfriend and I, when we left, he stated, “I definitely want to celebrate it every year and share it with more people.” I agreed and felt super content that I decided to bring it to our home.
At the end of the show, MK Asante was signing books and movies, so we decided to also purchase his book It’s Bigger Than Hip Hop, that he teaches in his class at Morgan State University. We are really looking forward to reading it and I will eventually write a book review of it here.
The great experience really left us thinking about how we can become stronger activists and better people for ourselves and world around us. Tonight, we lit the red candle to the far left and discussed self determination. We made goals for the new year and reflected on this past year, with our kujichaguila in mind. Kujichaguila is so important for us because many have tried to erase our history, rewrite our past or simply leave out our being. We are here to unite, connect, reconstruct and write the stories of our futures. We are a strong people who will not let our oppressors leave us invisible, we will conquer and deconstruct the many deficit views that have been internalized by many including ourselves. Yes we can self-oppress, but we must be determined to love ourselves and make our communities. Like Dr. Angelou stated, we must come out of the shadows of irrational prejudice, we owe no racial debt to history, we are the best, we are all we have…
**We also discussed how next year we are definitely getting our wooden Kinara yay, and a wooden unity cup 🙂