1. Umoja - Unity
To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race.
Left: Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church is proud to announce the 11th season of "Umoja," which runs April 23-25. "Umoja" is a culturally diverse stage play that celebrates the rich history of African-Americans through drama, music and dance. This year's theme invites everyone to "Catch the Spirit!"
2. Kujichagulia - Self Determination
To define, name, create for and speak for ourselves insted of being defined, named, created for and spoken for by others.
It is the design of societal traditions and custome to impart and perpetuate itself so that it can remain in existence. But when one society defames another according to its own standards of right and wrong then the boundaries are crossed which threaten the societal fiber. Additionally, if a parent culture uses intimidation, coercion, defamation and slander to incriminate its members, it is at risk of destroying its fiber internally. Human beings will always reflect their parent culture. Responsible human beings will position themselves to embrace that which perpetuates and supports self-esteem and find viable ways to dismantle that which does not. In reaching out to all of Humanity, we cannot spew onto others the bite and the sting of that which brings about self hatred, lest we become the mouthpiece of the oppressors themselves.
Adinkra symbol - One head does not constitute a council, or, one head does not constitute a jury.
3. Ujima Collective Work and Responsibility
To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and reace
The African Proverb states, "It takes a whole village to raise a child," has been repeated over and over again. There has been no limit to the universality of this proverb and its many implications. If humanity extended this effort as a force of collective work and responsibility, we can embrace our own, without guilt, but embrace others as well. We are subsequently supported because we are in our rightful position to extend help and aid to other human beings, but we have more importantly taken on the responsibility of ourselves, to be the best human being that we can be. Then we have the right to do something for someone else and the corresponding responsibility to do it with honor, courage and integrity. We are empowered in our own right but profoundly capable of extending the rite of power to others.
Adinkra symbol: Akoko nan "Parental admonitions not intended to harm the child."
4. Ujamaa - Cooperative economics
To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other business and to profit together.
Humanity is reported to have started off as an agrarian people. Agriculturally inclined they tilled and compliment the earth upon which they grew, was nurtured and supported. Somewhere along the line of what is called "evolution" human selfishness took over and no longer was it sharing equally or at least according to need, but the hoarding and coveting of goods and services. If we are to call ourselves civilized and evolved beings beyond that which our Ancestors were, then surely we can own and share, give and take, but not advantage of those less fortunate.Do we forgo our immediately desire to hoard our wealth to release our hold and share our wealth with those less fortunate? How inculcated are we that we propose to donate to a worthy cause, yet wondering and expecting our due returns? When do we give for the sake of giving, because it is needed and not because of the rewards promised? Selfishness has made our economy a hopeless competition bleeding into our everyday affairs of exchange. Let's open our hands and risking to let go, yet freeing ourselves to receive even more.
5. Nia- Purpose
To make a collective vocation the building and development of our community, in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
How is the traditional greatness of humanity identified? What determines what was great and who determines what needs to be restored? Is it not ture that at some point in the human history, some nation of people prevailed over another? In some cases, this dominance was to the point of oppressing others into slavery. Can greatness be defined through the power that is housed in bloody hands? Can the amassing of human property, chattel or material wealth determine human greatness? Are the traditional values of honor, courage, selflessness, humility, compassion, forgiveness, understanding and cooperation, worthy of being restored? Or are they simply primitive values long outdated and certainly irrelevant in our fast pace world? Let us restore our traditional greatness on the human level, with each human being reaching to collectively build and maintain a world community of human respect and dignity.
Sankofa - Adinkra Symbol. "It is not wrong to go back and fetch what was lost."
6. 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 when we inherited it.
Traditionally, it has been the responsibility of the women to sustain the creative culture in the society. Then it stands to reason that the creative expression is oppressed in direct relation to the oppression of women. Admittedly, many of us tend to call the Earth, Mother Nature, expressing the womanly principle of design and creative organization.
We are also faced with the legacy upon our birth. A legacy of a planet that needs recuperation and regeneration. Surely our Mother Earth is suffering, parallels the suffering each of us has experience in our creative beings. We have become apathetic and reach no more to design and create but to accept as genuine the trash that has been left behind. Let's not stifle our own genius, a genius that reflects the Earth upon which we depend. If we give credence to her purpose, we affirm ourselves, and our own creativity and that of others. What else can our Mother Earth do but revive herself, be fruitful and multiply/
7. Imani- Faith
To believe with all our hearts in our people, our parents and our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.
This principle seals the covenant of 7 days. This is the seal of completion, the symbol of resting after so much work. We can now rest because we know that it is through the hard work of the other principles that the out come will be just what we desired. We have affirmed eternally that we have the ability to improve and enjoy our world from the inside out. We are now endowed with the reward of reaping all the benefits of what we have done. And so we rest, rest in peace with renewed faith and assurance that our hard work will reap long lasting benefits for generations to come.
We will leave behind a legacy of cooperative change and progression that will sustain our name into antiquity. We are imbued with the faith that our past efforts will not go in vain but by the documented in the annals of time. We believe that we have in fact, given and and will see the profundity of our gift eventuate in humanity's future.
Thank you for reading this blog and for sharing it. I really appreciate you. Nana Baakan